UN independent expert cancels trip to Australia due to Border Force Act

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants,  Francois Crepeau,  said that he has postponed his trip to Australia to obtain first hand accounts from asylum seekers in detention centers in Nauru and Papua New Guinea after being denied access to the centers by the government.

Crepeau reported that he had received no guarantees that he or any member of his team would not face reprisals for the information he could potentially receive at the centers.

Under Australian law, it is illegal to disclose protected information about the centers and doing so could result in a two year prison sentence for breaking the country’s Border Force Act.

Crepeau called the potential threat of prison time “unacceptable” and said that because he was unable to be guaranteed in writing assurances that this would not happen, that is was not possible for him to carry out the visit.


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