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Greens repeat call for govt to support for students from restive Arab countries


The Australian Greens have again called for the Federal Government to support students from restive Arab countries, such as Libya and Syria, who are in Australia on student visas.


"I will be writing to the Immigration and Foreign Ministers urging they swiftly act to help students such as Libyans whose finances have been frozen by the international community's sanctions against the Gaddafi regime," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Hanson-Young, said today.


"I am concerned by reports today that finances from the Libyan embassy for these students will be exhausted in August."


Earlier this month a Greens' motion to extend on humanitarian grounds the visas of students from restive countries until it was safe for them to return, but it was rejected in the senate by the ALP and Coalition.


The motion also urged the government to relax working restrictions, and offer counselling or other support to these students who are dealing with trauma directly or indirectly because of the continuing unrest in their home countries.


"Australia has in the past shown compassion by extending help to students from China after the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, and we should be doing it again," Sen. Hanson-Young said.


"Given Australia was showing international leadership in the early days of the uprising in Libya, it's crucial we again demonstrate our support by helping Libya's future leaders who are studying in Australia."

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