Asylum seekers are not political footballs

By Claire Mallinson, National Director, Amnesty International Australia

I've just heard the most appalling news - the Australian Government has announced a blanket suspension on processing new asylum claims by Afghan and Sri Lankan nationals.

Over 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrive here by boat are found to have genuine claims for protection.

The situation remains desperate for many people in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Activists, journalists, women and minority groups among others face real threats to their lives.

We cannot allow our politicians to use men, women and children fleeing persecution as political footballs. Join me and tell our Government to immediately reverse its freeze on applications by Afghan and Sri Lankan asylum seekers.

As a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention, we made a commitment to protect people at risk of torture, persecution and death. It's time to live up to our promises and show leadership on asylum and refugee issues.

Tell our government to reverse this appalling policy move: