Strict visa conditions set for immigration detainees released by Australia

by IANS |

Canberra, Nov 17 (IANS) People released from unlawful indefinite immigration detention will be subject to strict conditions on their Australian visas, including curfews, under new laws rushed through parliament.

The ruling Labour Party teamed up with the opposition coalition in a late-night sitting of parliament on Thursday to pass legislation imposing conditions on a group of 84 former immigration detainees, who were released following a High Court ruling earlier in November, reports Xinhua news agency.

Under the laws, the former detainees will be subject to mandatory electronic monitoring and curfews.

The government released the 84 people after the High Court ruled on November 8 that indefinite immigration detention is unlawful, overturning a 20-year-old precedent that had allowed for the ongoing detention of non-citizens without Australian visas.

The group is made up of people who were denied Australian visas for reasons including previous convictions for murder, child sex offences and assault but could not be deported because they are either refugees, stateless or refused by other countries.

Since their release, the government has been under pressure from the coalition to guarantee the Australian community's safety.

Andrew Giles, minister for immigration, told parliament that safety was the government's top priority.

"From the moment the High Court handed down its decision we have been implementing measures to keep the community safe," he said on Friday.

In addition to monitoring and curfews, the new laws also ban the released group from working with children, going within 150 meters of a school or childcare facility or contacting the victims of their crimes.

Any of the released individuals who breach the new measures will face mandatory jail sentences.

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