Support Refugee Rights - Drop the Charges sign now

Support Refugee Rights - Drop the Charges

Four refugee supporters have been summoned to face charges of signing false passport statements in relation to escaped asylum seekers attempting to flee Australia to find safe haven in other countries.

We the undersigned recognise that throughout history people have been willing to disobey the letter of the law in order to help others flee persecution and danger.

Many people disobeyed the law to help Jews and others flee persecution at the hands of the Nazis in Europe and in more recent history many disobeyed the law in the struggle against Apartheid in South Africa. Many Australians declared themselves prepared to disobey the law to shelter Timorese refugees threatened with deportation.

People such as Oscar Schindler and Frank Foley who forged passports for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany are now recognised as heroes for the actions they took to help others flee persecution. (Frank Foley was a British diplomat at the embassy in Berlin during the Nazi era. He not only interpreted the rules on visas loosely, enabling Jews to escape to Britain and Palestine, but he also helped to forge passports.)

The alleged offences by refugee activists are minor misdemeanours compared to the breaches of human and civil rights perpetrated by the government against asylum seekers. These breaches have been documented and condemned by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission as well as hundreds of other organisations and many tens of thousands of Australians.

We ask why asylum seekers are being forced to flee Australia to seek refuge in other countries.

The legislation and court decisions that allow for the indefinite detention of those who seek asylum is a travesty of human rights.

The deplorable treatment of those in detention is well documented.

The Australian Government continues to threaten and to actually deport asylum seekers to places where they face ongoing persecution, danger and threat of death. The recent report "Deported to Danger" by the Edmund Rice Centre, documents numerous cases where asylum seekers have been deported into unsafe situations, sometimes on false documents issued by the Australian government.

We call on the Commonwealth to drop the charges against these refugee supporters in recognition that the alleged offences are trivial in nature, victimless and that such charges amount to state intimidation of those who support refugee rights throughout Australia.

We do not believe people should be punished for unselfish acts designed to help others flee persecution.

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Jon BradleyBy:
Nature and EnvironmentIn:
Petition target:
Australian Government - Commonwealth Attorney-General & Director of Public Prosecutions

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