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Australian Greens moves motion to condemn gov't's asylum seekers policy

05-30-2011 13:47 BJT

CANBERRA, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Australian Greens on Monday moved a motion condemning the federal government's mandatory detention system for asylum seekers as abominable, cruel, expensive and ineffective.

The Greens' motion called on the government to scrap its in- principle agreement with Malaysia, which would see 800 people who tried to get to Australia by boat taken immediately to Malaysia. In return Australia has agreed to take 4,000 genuine refugees who have had their claims assessed in Malaysia.

Moving the motion, Greens lawmaker Adam Bandt said Malaysia has not signed the United Nations Convention on Human Rights and "has a history of caning asylum seekers".

"Enough is enough. The Malaysia deal is wrong. It violates human rights and Australia's international obligations," he told Parliament in Canberra on Monday.

The Greens motion could succeed in the lower house if the opposition and all independent lawmakers Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie vote for it.

Australia Associated Press reported that the federal government is facing embarrassing parliamentary defeats over key elements of its asylum-seeker policy, because the Greens' motion has already been supported by opposition members and independent Andrew Wilkie, who said it has "cast a shadow" over Australia's human rights record.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Malaysia deal is "conceived in denial and negotiated in desperation".

"Confusion still reigns over when it (the swap of asylum seekers with Malaysia) starts and who goes there and who does not. It is quite clear the Malaysian government will have a right of veto over who goes to their country," he said in Canberra on Monday.

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