Refugee activists call for 90-day detention limit

The release of a federal parliament report last week has sparked calls for urgent government action to make things easier for refugees.

Refugee Action Collective spokesperson Paul Mckinnon said he endorsed the recent report that recommended asylum seekers be given a 90-day maximum time limit in detention.

“It would be a tremendous step forward in the right direction but of course we wouldn’t rest there, we would want to see an end to mandatory detention completely,” Mr Mckinnon said.

The Immigration Detention Network report also recommended an independent body review the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s assessments on asylum seekers.

“Lets take the Tamils as an example. ASIO deems anyone who had anything to do with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a security threat but the LTTE ran a lot of these provinces for years, you couldn’t live there without being associated with them,” Mr Mckinnon said.

RAC and the other refugee advocate groups have decided to mark the 20th anniversary of mandatory detention with a protest in Darwin this weekend.

Mr Mckinnon said he hoped protest would bring past refugee activists back to the fold following a significant drop after Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister.

“The numbers don’t deserve to be lower – the problems are just as bad now as they ever were,” Mr Mckinnon said.

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