UN Calls Out Australia For Its Treatment Of Asylum Seekers As 37 Sri Lankans Seeking Refuge Are Turned Around

Getty/ Putu Sayoga. Indonesian police guard an asylum seeker boat on May 12, 2013 in Indonesia.

Australia has been called out by the United Nations for its “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” of refugees.

In a report by the UN Committee Against Torture, Australia was criticised for its treatment of asylum seekers in mandatory detention.

“The combination of … harsh conditions, the protracted periods of closed detention and uncertainty about the future reportedly creates serious physical and mental pain and suffering,” the report says.

The committee was concerned “in particular [with] the policy of intercepting and turning back boats, without due consideration of [Australia’s] obligations”.

Sri Lanka arrested 37 asylum seekers after the Australian coastguard intercepted their trawler while they attempted to seek asylum.

Sri Lankan authorities have charged the asylum seekers with illegally leaving the country, and their cases are due to be taken up by a court next May.

Read more here.

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