March 15, 2013
Amnesty International has grave concerns with the Government’s recent move to start returning Hazara asylum seekers to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
“The security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating and we are extremely fearful for their safety should the Government send these asylum seekers back,” said Alex Pagliaro, Amnesty International’s Refugee Spokesperson.
“The Government also indicated that it plans to return some of these asylum seekers to Islamabad, where they will likely end up in Quetta.
“The continued targeting of Hazaras in Quetta, including the two bombings in recent months with over 100 people killed, shows just how dangerous the situation is for them.
“Amnesty International has worked closely with Hazara asylums seekers who are now facing imminent return to Ghazni province, and has serious concerns that the decisions are based on incorrect or outdated country information.
“The constantly evolving situation in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan must be taken into consideration in Australia’s asylum review process, especially when the risk of returning people to such volatile and uncertain circumstances has consequences too severe to ignore,” said Pagliaro.
Amnesty International urges the Australian Government to review its country information when assessing cases to ensure that asylum seekers are processed in the fairest and most humane way.
“Australia has an obligation under international law to prioritise the safety and dignity of these vulnerable individuals and unfortunately we have not seen evidence that their protection is currently the top priority,” said Pagliaro.