Saturday, 09 August 2014 - 7:58
New method from Australia to send back asylum seekers
It has been revealed that the group of 107 Sri Lankan adults and 50 children were detained on a customs boat before being told they could have a lifeboat to find their way back to India.
Executive director of the Human Rights Law Centre said that they were terrified of the prospect of being dumped in the ocean on lifeboats, without experience in navigating or operating a boat and having to take responsibility for the families that were on the boat.
The group of 157 Tamils, including 50 children, were spotted and taken into custody by Australian officials in June after leaving a refugee camp in India.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that, under an agreement with New Delhi, the group could be sent back to India even though they are not Indian citizens.
But the group chose to refuse the arrangement and have now instead been transferred to the Nauru detention camps.
When media asked Morrison if the group were really offered orange lifeboats to get them to India, his response was that he does not discuss those sort of operational matters.