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Deal with Iran will put many lives in danger

Deporting Iranian asylum seekers against their will put lives in danger, the Australian Greens have said today.

The party has called on the Abbott Government to outline the principles of any deal to forcibly return asylum seekers back to Iran ahead of Foreign Minister Bishop's visit next week.

"Forced deportations to Iran is like a death sentence for many Iranians and their families," Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

"The Greens are extremely concerned at moves to send men, women and children back to Iran without a proper assessment of the dangers they face when returned.

"Sending asylum seekers back to Iran against their will raises a number of serious questions about Australia's role in deporting people to danger and possibly death.

"New laws passed by the Government means they no longer have to consider the danger a person might face if they are deported. This coupled with a less rigours refugee assessment process and no appeal rights means mistakes will be made.

"New laws which allow the Immigration Minster to deport a person with the stroke of a pen leaves open the real likelihood some people deported to Iran will face further harm and maybe even death.

"It is well known that returned asylum seekers are punished for leaving Iran. As a matter of course those retuned are jailed and interrogated and if they are found to have spoken out against the Iranian regime (inside or outside Iran) they are further punished and abused.

"What checks, if any, will the Australian government insist upon to ensure that people we deport are treated properly?

"The fact is, it will be very difficult for the Australian government to get any guarantees people deported to Iran will be safe. But the sad truth is I have little faith that the Abbott government even cares."

Media contact: Rachel Ryan 0427 604 760


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