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letter published in Coffs Coast Advocate Saturday 9 June 2018

Lucky Athletes

Minister Dutton has announced that his Department will fast track the assessment process for the 150 to 200 athletes who did not return to their home countries after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and are now seeking asylum in Australia.
Contrast this with the policy of the Government, supported by the Labour Party, concerning the treatment of the 2000 asylum seekers and refugees, including more than 100 children, languishing without hope on Manus Island and Nauru. 80 to 90% of these people have been determined to be legitimate refugees escaping war, torture and persecution in their home countries. They have now been there for almost 5 years.
There have already been 15 preventable deaths on Manus Island and Nauru. Many more adults and young people are suffering from serious mental health issues or other severe medical problems. People are separated from their families.
This current policy of indefinite offshore detention is cruel, inhumane and shames us all. We need to put an end to the unnecessary suffering of these people.

Paul Bartholomew
Boambee East

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