By Bob Ellis
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has some serious questions to answer about the asylum seekers he is sending away, including the traumatised five-year-old girl he is sending back to Australia’s version of Auschwitz.
There are some questions we might ask of Dutton regarding the asylum seekers sent back to Vietnam.
How many were children? How many were pregnant women? How many were girls below the age of consent? Where will these new babies and young people be educated? What jobs may they look forward to when they are grown? What income levels?
Will their parents be arrested?
Will they be “temporarily detained”? What does this mean?
Is it a crime to leave Vietnam in a boat? What is the punishment of that crime?
Were any of these questions asked when these immigrants were “assessed” at sea by Australian authorities? Did these authorities speak Vietnamese? How did they get on board the boat? Or did they merely phone their questions in? Or telex their questions which then were asked in English of desperate, scared people without a lawyer present or a trustworthy translator?
Piracy, kidnap, wrongful detention occurred here and what is usually called “interference in the course of justice”.
A female relative of some of the kidnapped – a mother? an aunt? a sister? – is detained in Australia and not allowed to see them, or plead for them.
A country without democratic process – a police state we once went to war with because of what it stood for – is now therefore able to do what it wants with “deserters” whom we have given back to it, at gunpoint.
How much worse can this Government get? Just asking.
It is likely as well that the raped little girl whom Dutton is sending this weekend back to Nauru, where she was raped, will be raped again and eventually suicide though she may not suicide for years. It is certain her assailant, or assailants, will not be punished — ever.
It is certain she will spend the rest of her life on Nauru, a place with no career prospects and no chance of a university education, however talented she is, for a period — if she lives — of ninety or a hundred years, a sentence longer than any mass murderer gets in a hundred and sixty countries.
It is likely she will never marry or have children. It is probable she will be, for some years, a prostitute. It is possible she will be killed while in that profession. It is probable she will become diseased.
All this is because she accompanied her parents, when she was little, on a legal journey to an attractive country, famed for its vibrant multiculture, and its welcoming attitude to visitors, as it showed at the 2000 Olympics, but chose, alas, the wrong month of 2013 to make that journey.
Dutton will not have thought of any of these things. He doesn’t want to know. He is not intelligent enough to know, or think in any depth of such things. His hands are over his eyes, and he is a fool.
How much worse can this government get?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License