Australian PM Abbott “accused of handing Tamil asylum-seekers back to SL”

Australian PM Abbott “accused of handing Tamil asylum-seekers back to SL”

Australian PM Abbott “accused of handing Tamil asylum-seekers back to SL”

Written by News 1st

03 Jul, 2014 | 9:47 am

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been accused of breaching international law amid reports he deployed the Australian navy to pick up more than 150 Tamil asylum-seekers and handed them over to the Sri Lankan authorities.

The Abbott government was accused of “sending the persecuted to the persecutors” but has so far refused to comment on the reports.

The asylum-seekers were reportedly picked up by the Australian navy near the Cocos Islands in the Indian Ocean. There were reports a second boatload from Sri Lanka may also have been transferred.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison, Australia’s immigration minister, would not comment on “water operations” but insisted the government had not breached international law.

However, an expert in international law, Donald Rothwell, told The Telegraph that a transfer of Tamil asylum-seekers to Sri Lanka would be a flagrant breach of the United Nations refugee convention.

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