Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Abbott joins Howard as second serving prime minister referred to the International Criminal Court by an Australian citizen
International media notices that Anthony John ‘Tony’ Abbott has joined John Winston Howard as serving Australian prime ministers referred to The Hague by one or more citizens.
The Telegraph UK 22 October 2014:
An Australian MP has asked the International Criminal Court to investigate prime minister Tony Abbott for crimes against humanity over his detention of asylum seekers on remote Pacific islands.
Andrew Wilkie, an independent MP, said Mr Abbott’s policy was illegal, severe and had caused “great suffering”.
He has written to the court to request that prosecutors investigate whether Mr Abbott and the members of the federal cabinet have breached the Rome Statute, which deals with crimes against the humanity, or international conventions which deal with the rights of children and refugees.
“It is not illegal to come to Australia and claim asylum, and we have a fundamental obligation to hear those claims and to give those people refuge if those claims are accurate,” Mr Wilkie said.
Mr Abbott was elected last year after pledging to “stop the boats” and to stem the flow of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat. Many come from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and arrive in Australia via transit camps in Indonesia.
Mr Abbott’s tough stance has involved intercepting the rickety boats and deporting those aboard to detention centres on the remote Pacific nation of Nauru and an island off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
Human rights groups and the United Nations have denounced the policy and say conditions in the detention centres are inhumane.