Friday, June 9, 2006
According to a government document, the Australian federal government has detained 26 Australian citizens in immigration detention centres over the past ten years. In its count, the document does not include high-profile cases involving Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon and "Mr. T", for which the government has already accepted liability.
Responding to a question on notice from Labor MP Steve Georganus, Phillip Ruddock, former Australian immigration minister said that the commonwealth ombudsman was looking into 220 possible cases where people have been illegally detained and of those 26 had been identified as legitimate Australian citizens. "Of the 220 cases bearing the descriptor 'released not unlawful' the department has identified 26 cases involving Australian citizens" he said.
According to Mr Georganus, his question was put to the government six months ago. He received a reply from Mr Ruddock last week.
Mr Georganus said that the errors should not be occurring in a democratic country. "When you see 26 Australian citizens locked away in Australia in a democratic country in the year 2006, you lose all confidence," he said.
== Sources ==
"Immigration admits another 26 wrongful detentions" — Australian Broadcasting Corporation, June 9, 2006AAP. "Govt 'wrongfully detains' 26 Australians" — The Sydney Morning Herald, June 9, 2006