Turned Back To Torture

Turned Back To Torture Is Australia's immigration policy in breach of UN conventions on asylum seekers? Damning first hand accounts now suggest Sri Lankan refugees have been placed straight back into hands of their torturers.
"They hoisted me up, with my torso hanging down. After that, they placed a book on my head and hit it with a hammer." Bhanu is one of many who claims to have suffered at the hands of the Sri Lankan authorities after being turned away by Australian immigration. He says he was turned back to his torturers after appealing for asylum, thanks to a new "enhanced screening" process. According to the former Director of Offshore Processing, "the idea of it being enhanced is exactly the opposite of what it is. It was made shorter - fewer questions, less opportunity to put forward your story". According to him, potentially hundreds have suffered torture thanks to the policy, but the government's defence remains robust. Bob Carr of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs claims, "since 2010 there's no evidence of any arrest - let alone torture". But it now seems a growing body of evidence will force the policy to be more closely examined.

Produced by Dateline, SBS Australia

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