OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Bishop alarmed about the lengthy suffering of people seeking political asylum

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - “The Federal Government must ease the suffering of asylum seekers in remote facilities waiting for their claims to be assessed,” reads the message from Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome, sent to Fides by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council. The Council President has said it is time that the Government put into practice the commitments made at the time of its taking Government to improve the conditions of these people and accelerate the processes. The appeal was made after the protest of hundreds of displaced persons at the Curtin Detention Centre complaining about the delays in responding to their demands and the risk of being deported to dangerous situations. “It is hard to imagine the frustration and fear these men are experiencing. The pastoral work of the Church shows how the crowded conditions in detention for long periods simply adds to the trauma of being forced to flee persecution and danger in their homelands. At the end of the day, the facilities at Curtin are still barbed-wire encampments set in the midst of an inhospitable environment. At its best it represents a punitive response to a global social problem involving millions of displaced people.” The situation in this detention centre brings to light the need to take immediate measures. The asylum seekers must know that their concerns for their future safety are being taken into account. (AP) (20/1/2011 Agenzia Fides)