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Monday, January 17, 2011

Australia signs asylum seeker agreement with Afghanistan

Elizabeth Byrne, Canberra

Last Updated: 21 hours 49 minutes ago

Concerns have been raised that a new agreement between Australia and Afghanistan to return failed asylum seekers could expose some individuals to danger.

The Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says the agreement will mean failed asylum seekers can be returned involuntarily.

"People who are not genuine refugees will be returned to Afghanistan with dignity and humanity, but they will be returned," he said.

But Professor William Maley from the ANU says Afghanistan is still not a safe place particularly for Hazaras, with several recent beheadings.

He says a safe return depends on a robust assessment process.

"If those processes are feeble, if those processes are defective in any way, the danger is that those people will be exposed to this kind of risk," he said.

The government says there are about 50 failed Afghan asylum seekers in detention.

But a recent High Court ruling has given them access to court appeals.

Source,
http://www.radioaustralianews.net.au/stories/201101/3114795.htm?desktop

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