Thursday, February 20, 2014

The latest on the "Pacific solution"

Over the weekend, Australia's "Pacific solution" of loading refugees into boats heading north devolved into murder when in apparent retaliation for a riot, G4S security guards stood by and let locals, led by police, storm its Manus Island gulag. One person was killed and dozens were injured. What's the latest?

  • An Australian immigration translator has come forward as a witness, claiming that the attack was by PNG locals, some of whom were employed by G4S. She has now been sacked, and she expects the Australian government to "come after me with all that they have".
  • Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot views being expected to maintain a proper duty of care towards refugees by e.g. not letting them be murdered by a death squad employed by your security company while under your care as "moral blackmail".
  • The Age has denounced the entire Pacific Solution and called for an end to offshore detention, saying that "We have become a nation that acquiesces in the cruel and inhumane treatment of people who seek freedom from persecution". Except Australia doesn't just "acquiese" - it is the country which is carrying out that cruel and inhuman treatment.
The key question for Australians is how many more refugees they are willing to see murdered and tortured to pander to their racist element. And if the answer is anything other than "zero", then you are complicit in that murder and torture and need to be held accountable for it.