Saudi Ambassador to Guinea and Sierra Leone Bids Farewell to 1st Batch of Guinean Pilgrims    KSrelief Delivers A Gift of 25 Tons of Dates from Saudi Arabia to Togo    King, Crown Prince congratulate presidents of Croatia, Slovenia and Mozambique    The Crown Prince's regional tour and the upcoming summit    Toyota recalls electric cars over concerns about loose wheels    UK workshop seeks to lure investors to Saudi Arabia's mining sector    Conflict, drought, dwindling food support, threatens lives of 20 million in Ethiopia    FIFA increases squad limit to 26 for World Cup    KSrelief Concludes Anti-Blindness Campaign in Garoua, Cameroon, by Conducting 423 Surgeries    KSrelief Dispatches Over 100 Relief Trucks to Yemen Through Al-Wadiah Land Port    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    10-year jail, SR10m fine for distributing adulterated food among pilgrims    US Senate passes first gun control bill in decades    Talking to the Taliban 'only way forward' in Afghanistan    Monkeypox: Amid uncertainty, global situation cannot be ignored, says WHO chief    Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Takes Part in Tunisia Forum for Investment    Saudi Arabia reaffirms commitment to women empowerment Economic participation by Saudi females up 94% in 3 years    Two killed as electric car falls from third floor of Shanghai office building    Al-Hilal one win away from 3rd SPL title in a row    Anthony Joshua defends Saudi Arabia when asked about 'sportswashing'    Saudi Arabia, Djibouti Sign Joint Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Transport    Blood transfusion at IMC for patient with complex condition qualifies him for surgery    GCC Food Safety Committee Holds its Sixth Meeting    Saudi Stock Market Index Ends Down at Level of 11310.67 Points    Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Visits London Metal Exchange    Flyadeal Launches First Direct Flight to Khartoum    NEOM launches program to develop next generation of Saudi football talent    Al-Khorayef visits London Metal Exchange    Belgian blogger: Saudi Arabia is safer than America and Europe    Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to split: US media    SFDA Extends Period for Submitting Requests for Compliance Forms for Food Transportation during Hajj    CITC Publishes Public Consultation on Regulatory Framework for NTN, Information Document for NTN Spectrum Auction    GASTAT: Saudi Arabia's overall merchandise exports increased by 98.0% in April 2022    Celebrating the union of body and soul: UN marks International Yoga Day    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    President of AFC Congratulates Saudi Olympic Team on Winning Asia Cup U23    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Film "The Journey" Wins Best Experimental Film at Dutch Septimius Awards    ALECSO Director: Islamic Arts Biennale Is Extension of Saudi Arabia's Cultural Movement    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Diriyah Biennale Foundation Announces Hajj Terminal in Jeddah as Location for First-ever Islamic Arts Biennale    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    

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Australia to halt immigration plans
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 09 - 2011

Australia will be forced to suspend plans for off-shore processing of asylum seekers after a court ruled a refugee swap deal with Malaysia illegal, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Sunday.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government has been under intense pressure on refugee policy amid a surge in asylum-seekers' boats arriving in Australian waters. As well as the Malaysia deal, the government last month signed an agreement to reopen an offshore processing centre on Papua New Guinea's remote Manus Island.
Bowen said legal advice since last week's ruling indicated that current Australian law would bar that deal as well.
It would also bar proposals by the conservative opposition to reopen a centre on the Pacific island nation of Nauru, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
“The solicitor-general and two other senior counsel can have no confidence that an arrangement with PNG or Nauru is possible under existing law as a result of this judgment,” he said.
The only country in the region likely to be deemed acceptable was New Zealand, Bowen said. The ruling also meant the ‘Pacific solution' of the former conservative government was invalid, he said.
The government will consider its options, including an attempt to change the country's migration law, Bowen said.
Gillard's minority Labor government, which survives on a shaky and razor-thin majority and must fight an election by late 2013, struck the Malaysian deal to fight perceptions that she was soft on asylum seekers. A tough stance on boat people has helped swing election results in recent years.
But Australia's High Court last week ruled invalid an agreed deal to send up to 800 newly arrived asylum seekers to Malaysia. In return, Australia would accept more refugees from Malaysia.
Lawyers for two asylum seekers asked the High Court to declare the people swap deal illegal, because Malaysia had no legal guarantee to protect the rights of asylum seekers. In a ruling last Wednesday, the court agreed and ruled that Canberra could not ensure protection for asylum seekers sent to Malaysia.
Australia is a signatory to the UN convention on refugees but Malaysia is not. Critics say Malaysia's refusal to ratify the UN convention has led to mistreatment including caning and denial of basic rights for the 93,600 refugees in the country, who largely come from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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