Monday, August 8, 2011

Exporting lives: history's lessons lost

Ten years ago, I arrived as a refugee by boat from Afghanistan and got Australia's protection.

In the past few decades, thousands of asylum seekers, like me, have made a treacherous journey to Australia, in search of freedom and lives free from fear and persecution.

But the rules have now changed. No asylum seekers coming by boat could seek protection from Australia under the Malaysian deal announced last month in which 800 asylum seekers will be swapped for 4,000 refugees to be resettled in Australia. The first group are about to be forcefully removed from Christmas Island and yet it faces a court challenge in Melbourne by David Manne over the legality of the transfer.

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