Refugee stance defended (letter)by Dr I.C.F. Spry, QCNews Weekly
, May 4, 2002
Michael Barr's misleading letter (News Weekly
, April 20) should not go unremarked.
The Senate Inquiry into the "children overboard" incident has revealed "aggressive behaviour among 'refugees' who used threats, intimidation and sabotage to reach Australia".
This conduct includes the deliberate scuttling of boats in order to have "refugees", including children, picked up by Australian vessels.
Rear-Admiral Geoff Smith stated "boat people routinely used threats, intimidation and sabotage to pressure the Navy into providing asylum".
Admiral Smith stated, "Our experience ... indicated a range of behaviour designed to intimidate the sailors, designed to appeal to our cultural and moral values".
Admiral Smith indicated that deliberately sinking a boat with children on it and actually throwing a child into the sea were similar actions, and said, "The end result is exactly the same."
Asylum seekers also used decking as weapons, smashing parts of ships and lighting fires, threw away identity documents in order to support fabrications, lied about their countries of origin, threatened to cause injury to women, attacked and caused serious injuries to and intimidated Australian security staff, lit fires in and engaged in destruction of property at detention centres, amongst other similar conduct.
Mr Westmore should be congratulated for drawing attention to some of these matters.Dr I.C.F. Spry, QC,