Amnesty claims Australian officials are the people smugglers 75



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It’s one of our most respected charities, however today Amnesty International, who many Australians support, has turned on us, saying that our authorities have acted like people smugglers, put people’s lives at risk and treated people in an inhumane way.

A damning report titled, By hook or by crook: Australia’s abuse of Asylum Seekers at Sea, investigated the claims by asylum seekers that Australian officials had paid people smugglers to turn their boats around in May.

Amnesty interviewed the 65 passengers who were on board the ship, as well as the six crew and Indonesian officials, and concluded, “all of the available evidence points to Australian officials having committed a transnational crime” and that officials effectively engaged in people smuggling.

“People smuggling is a crime usually associated with private individuals, not governments – but here we have allegations that Australian officials are not just involved, but directing operations. When it comes to its treatment of those seeking asylum, Australia is becoming a lawless state,” said a spokesperson.

In the report, Amnesty also claims that authorities locked the boat’s passengers in small cells with no air conditioning for seven days before sending them back onto their boat.

When questioned on the matter back in May, the government initially denied that Australian officials had paid people smugglers before slipping into silence and refusing to comment on operational matters.

Today Peter Dutton said the human rights charity had a history of criticising Australia’s border protection policy.

“Amnesty International and others don’t like Operation Sovereign Borders and the fact that we’ve stopped the boats. We’re not going to be bullied into some watering down of that,” he said.

“They don’t like Operation Sovereign Borders, they try to attack border force staff, naval staff, and I think it’s a disgrace,” he said. “I think at the end you can take the word of people smugglers, or you can take the word of our staff at Australian border force.”

Amnesty International is calling for a Royal Commission into the investigation.

Do you think a Royal Commission is necessary into the claims that Australian officials paid people smugglers? Is Amnesty right to question our border protection strategies? 

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  1. Yes I do support a call for a Royal Commission but it will never happen under this Liberal Government, instead of us being aware and confident at what is happening in our names and with taxpayers money, it is all shrouded with secrecy. The is no open transparency at all anymore

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  2. When this question was put to Tony Abbot several months ago his answer was they will do what ever it takes to stop the boats, he also said it was cheaper than having to house them here.

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    • David Tony Abbot admitted that they would do anything to stop the boats, at the time it was said they were paying as much as $40000.00 to turn them around.

    • “…he also said it was cheaper than having to house them here.” Well, Tony Abbott better go back to school then. It doesn’t cost a million dollars to house a refugee here… well, except maybe at Point Piper!

  3. We have become the people smugglers in reverse, we pay people smugglers to turn the boats around and take them back wherever. We don’t know if they make it back, we don’t know how much these boat smugglers are paid. In short we know bugga all .I support a Royal Commision

  4. Hmmm! I can’t recall Amnesty calling for a Royal Commission when thousands were drowning at sea. For the report to state the Australian Government were people smuggling is beyond belief. Obviously, Amnesty International would prefer that our Government did nothing and allow the restart of the criminal organised people trade and have thousands more die at sea. Personally, I prefer saving lives over allowing deaths at sea.

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    • They have a lot of documented evidence and it a transnational crime, they will not let this go, this involves money changing hands

    • Leanna Stephenson would you prefer the boats to start coming again and put the lives of men, women and children at risk? Documentation. Do you mean records of interviews from refugees and crew which which would not stand up in court because they are based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence by people with vested interests and ideologies? Perhaps that is why no charges have been laid or the issue taken to an Australian or International Court! The bottom line is, “There are now no deaths at sea!”

    • I just watched it on Foxtel Alan Bell and there is video footage of money being handed over and they said there is a lot of documented evidence..I suggest you watch the news tonight

    • The only people making illegal money out of all this is the smugglers because they said they take them back, then charge them to bring them back to Australia and so the cycle continues, it is a disgrace because they admitted some people had been here up to three times.

    • Trish Daley the boats have stopped and no more lives are being lost at sea. Furthermore, in my opinion, a person who has paid 3 times to get to Australia, as you assert, would be classified as an economic migrant who is country shopping.

    • Stopping the boats has nothing to do with saving lives. If it were, any would we then punish those who survived by locking them up indefinitely or sending them back to face further trauma on the high seas. Stopping the boats is all about the Australian government wanting to be seen as ‘tough’ on ‘illegals’. They seem to have convinced many Australians that seeking asylum is a crime and that travelling by boat is an affront to civilization. How sad that our government has sunk so low.

    • You have a good point there Jay…it’s more about the government being seen to stop the boats not really about saving lives. In any case how do we know that the boats have truly stopped and also that lives are still not being lost when turned back. The govt was so secretive that anything could have been covered up, and probably was.

    • No wonder there’s so many people scanned in Australia ,take a look what’s happened in Europe ,it was happening here till the boats was stopped they were not asylum seekers they were economic migrants,the asylum seekers are still in the camps waiting to legally come,that’s the ones that need help,not those with enough money to come here illegally ,paying smugglers to come here is illegal and they should be turned back.

    • Alan Bell Alan, Leannna Stephenson is one of the Left Wing motherhood who haunts this site. If someone responds to her posts she gets all bent out of shape, as is the want of the soft left. She is quite happy with the ALP half hearted approach to illegal refugee management that resulted in 1,000 of illegals being imprisoned offsihore and 100s drowning at sea. But doesn’t like it when the total failure of that policy is pointed out to her and starts her usual unintellectual name calling. It’s a hallmark of the deluded left.

    • Jay and Christa how many people have drowned since the boats were stopped? Zero! It is all about saving lives and keeping people out of detention centres. The problem was caused by the Rudd, Gillard, Rudd governments. Once those currently placed in detention by those Labor Governments are resettled the problem will be fixed. It is all about saving lives and not political dogma or socialist ideology.

    • Alan Bell we don’t know how many have drowned, there is a blackout on reporting on the boats. You say they have stopped, yet the government was paying them to turn around. That says they didn’t stop doesn’t it

    • Yes Sue you are right the Government ADMITTED to paying to turn the boats around however you will always get the idiots that don’t believe anything they hear about the Liberal Party and that includes the blackout on reporting, however if these people were intelligent enough they wouldn’t just take your word for it they would use their brains and do some RESEARCH for themselves to find the truth if they are up for it.

    • Why won’t they Trish, are they frightened they’ll find out the Liberals aren’t perfect? It’s one of life’s little mysteries I guess. I want to know EXACTLY what the government is doing in my name and with my money, whether it’s Labor or Liberals

  5. They should put up there indisputable evidence of this or just shut up……talk is very cheap and sometimes very damaging……I doubt Amnesty could prove they are even worth listening to.

  6. Yes I support Amnesty’s call for a Royal Commission. This and other instances of abuse to asylum seekers must be investigated. Australians are fed up with the secrecy and the arrogance of this government. I wouldn’t believe a word the Minister for Immigration utters and our ‘new’ P.M. is showing up to be just as evasive as the last.

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  7. Yes don’t ya just love the way Amnesty is calling for a Royal Commission?
    Don’t see them jumping up and down at the 10,000 refugees is Malaysia who have been in refugee camps for over 10 years…..all of whom have a UN clearance to travel to 3 countries….
    But All the other illegal/refugees jumping the line…..means they don’t get as much opportunity.

    Remember, too it was under Labor the most boats arrived…..

    I and many like me are glad of our Sovereign Borders orders.

    What is there to understand. The human trafficking is stopped
    There are no boats on the horizon
    Those who are on Nauru are moving to New Guinea
    The problem is sorted.

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  8. I have trouble believing this because it does not make sense. Paying these boats to turn around is counter productive. This action would if anything increase the trade of people smuggling. The smugglers would have a very good incentive to keep the boats coming. They can’t lose as they are paid twice – once by the people they are smuggling and again by the Australian Government to turn around. If this is true then the boats should coming thick and fast. I know that the Government don’t comment on operational matters but I feel sure that this could not be kept secret. If Amnesty has hard evidence then they need to produce it in a Court of Law.

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  9. Amnesty international should spend more time trying to stop the abuses these people are supposedly fleeing from.

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