When injustice becomes law

Issue 

Ruth Ratcliffe

"The High Court of Australia's decision to keep refugee children imprisoned in detention centres makes it crystal clear that injustice has become law in this country", Lisa Macdonald from the Socialist Alliance said on October 6. "And when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty."

In its unanimous decision to reject the application by four Afghan children to be released from Baxter detention centre, the High Court acknowledged that Australia may be in breach of international human rights conventions, but nevertheless ruled that the government had the right to detain children.

"The majority of people in Australia oppose the mandatory detention of refugee children, whose only crime is to have had the misfortune to be born in a poor, war-torn country. So this High Court decision may be according to the letter of the law, but that makes the law both immoral and undemocratic", Macdonald said.

"The law must be changed and the refugee-rights movement will campaign relentlessly until all the detention centres have been closed, Australia's borders have been opened and all human rights of every refugee — child and adult — are fully protected.

"We stand 100% in solidarity with the prisoners at Villawood detention centre who began a hunger strike on October 5."

From Green Left Weekly, October 13, 2004.

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