Treatment of 501 deportees ‘deeply unfair’ – human rights lawyer

By and is republished with permission.

Human rights lawyer professor Patrick Keyzer told TVNZ’s Breakfast the treatment of the so-called 501s is deeply unfair.

Advocate Filipa Payne discussed the footage on Breakfast. (Source: Breakfast)

It comes after Breakfast obtained exclusive footage of officers in riot gear entering a cell in an Australian immigration detention facility to move a man.

Keyzer said there is another section in the Migration Act, Section 116, which provides a basis for removal.

“Colloquially over the last ten years we’ve been referring to them as 501s but often these days the government is using an even more slippery section called 116.

“If you can imagine a slippery dip in a playground and it’s been sort of tipped up and covered in grease, that’s effectively the way Section 116 works.”

Section 116 of the Migration Act gives the Immigration Minister discretionary powers to cancel visas.

“Australia doesn’t have a constitutional bill of rights, we don’t even have a statutory charter of rights like you do in New Zealand, so there’s no real human rights footholds or handholds for layers to invoke to argue cases on behalf of these cases,” he said.

Read more: Video shows officers’ cell entry tactics in Aus immigration facility

He told Breakfast “the Immigration Minister has the discretion to order that border force attend a person’s home in the wee hours of the morning, wake them up, take them away from their families, take them away from their children.”

They often end up in immigration detention facilities that a long way from their family, “It makes it very difficult for lawyers, let alone families to contact them.”

He said it is “an incredibly cruel and draconian system.”

Australia has, he said, “used deliberately cruel immigration and migration policies to win votes, it’s a cynical approach.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here