The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) has expressed its sadness at the tragic loss of life at Manus Island.
One Iranian asylum seeker died and others were injured in a riot involving 77 asylum seekers on Monday evening. The asylum seeker died after a confrontation with PNG
police. Bishop Gerard Hanna, the Bishops’ Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, has called for calm, and urged people to consider the situations which lead asylum seekers to flee countries like Iran.
'Asylum seekers often endure horrific violence and persecution in their home countries. Australia was once a place of refuge but now the journey to Australia is marked by grief,
hardship and further exile,' said Bishop Hanna.
'Persecution of marginalised groups is the underlying reason the world has so many displaced people. It is essential that nations uphold the rule of law and respect fundamental
human rights, such as the right to seek asylum.'
'How our government treats those in its care speaks to our community and internationally about what is acceptable in the treatment of our fellow human beings,' said Bishop Hanna. 'The current asylum policy is undermining Australia’s integrity and reputation in the international arena; Australia is less a country of refuge, but increasingly one of restrictive
'The ACMRO calls on the government to ensure each person’s claim for protection is considered under Australian Law by competent independent authorities, with appropriate
legal assistance and access to an independent judiciary such as the Refugee Review Tribunal.'
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Catholic Church expresses sadness over Manus Island death (ACBC Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office)