Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Illegal fishermen detention

How come we never hear about stuff like this? Apparently, we are going to use old detention centres for the detention of 'illegal' fishermen off our northern coast.

Who defines 'illegal'? JUDGES. NOT THE POLICE OR COAST GUARD. To prevent people breaking law in our territorial waters is fine, but to lock them up in a specialised facility seems like a waste of time and money. If someone needs to be arrested, send them to Darwin and a proper court hearing. This policy sounds suspiciously like the Executive deciding guilt and locking a person up indefinitely.

My concern is that those court 'breaking the law' (think illegal asylum seekers) will be processed within six weeks. That's what they said about refugees too, and look what happened there. We need to process cases as quickly as possible and my fear is that once people are locked up in old huts in the desert, they will quickly be forgotten and forsaken.

If after being found guilty of a criminal offence, these fishermen will be placed in 'normal correctional facilities', why not place them there to start with?

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