The Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison, is planning to increase the stakes dramatically in deciding whether his nation should send an asylum seeker away to the dungeons and the hands of brutes.
And he wants to put a figure on the ghastly business. Yes. He’s offering an each-way bet, set a bit shy of 50-50.
Applicants for asylum on the basis of fear of torture must establish, under his proposal, that there is more than a 50 per cent probability that they will be subjected to agony or even death if returned to the country they have fled.
In short, if there is a mere 49 to 50 per cent chance of escaping being hung by one’s thumbs from meathooks while being thrashed by a length of electrical flex, that’s good enough for Mr Morrison. They can be sent to whatever fate might await them.
And I doubt you’d find many Australians happy to hold the Coalition’s front bench to that same standard. 49% chance of brutal torture or death if we put them on this plane? No, they’re not that bad. They’re not, you know, asylum seeker children.
Meanwhile, on this link there’s a video of Scott telling shattered refugees that they’ll be staying in those camps for “a very very long time” unless they voluntarily go back into danger.
If you voted for this, or worse – are intending to keep voting for this, then I have some rather unkind words for you. But they’re not as unkind as what you’re prepared to do to vulnerable people.
UPDATE: Apparently there’s been some confusion in the comments as to whether Australia really would do something like this.
Here’s the Government’s bill to amend the Migration Act to make this the new test:
6A(2) The Minister can only be satisfied that Australia has protection obligations in respect of the non citizen if the Minister considers that it is more likely than not that the non citizen will suffer significant harm if the non citizen is removed from Australia to a receiving country.