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Letter to New Minister for Immigration - Peter Dutton 3 January 2015

3rd January 2015

Dear Minister Dutton,

I trust that you are enjoying a well-earned Summer break with your family and friends.
Sadly, for the asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru, their days and nights continue to be filled with fear and uncertainty as a result of the Coalition's asylum policies. 

We read on a regular basis, notwithstanding the government's efforts to shroud the harsh realities in secrecy, of the constant threats of physical and sexual abuse, and of violence committed against refugees now "settled" in this utterly inappropriate environment.

The Australian government, in spite of assertions to the contrary, continues to be responsible for the safety and the lives of these people.

Why should female asylum seekers and refugees feel obliged to sleep in their jeans because of their fears of rape? Why are asylum seekers and refugees fearful of reporting assaults and other abuse to security guards or to the police? 

How can things be so bad for refugees on Nauru that some of them have asked to be returned to the detention centre?

Save the Children is contracted by the Australian government to provide social services to refugees on Nauru.  

Notwithstanding the gagging clauses in their contract, they state: "Save the Children believes that Nauru is not a sustainable, long-term option for the resettlement of humanitarian refugees."  

Given this statement of the obvious, and given that punishing these people is costing the Australian taxpayer up to $5billion per annum, will you not now begin to take some steps to respond to the voices of so many decent Australians  who believe that offshore detention should be brought to an end in 2015? 

Surely it should now be acknowledged  that it is time to put this ugly and shameful chapter in our history behind us.

I look forward to hearing from you.

                                                                                                Yours sincerely,


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