Recently 10 refugees were released from detention into the community after the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) discreetly reversed their decision that the men were a threat to national security.
Some of the refugees had been in detention for over 5 years without having been charged with a crime.
The Australian government refuses to provide visas to refugees with adverse ASIO findings, effectively resulting in indefinite detention as they cannot be forcibly returned home and no other country will accept them.
ASIO has reduced the number of refugees with adverse findings
Figures from Department of Home Affairs show that by reversing their assessments, ASIO has reduced the number of refugees with adverse findings from 54 in 2013 to 34 currently.
ASIO supports their assessments and the right to reopen those assessments if new material surfaces, by stating that they rely on “knowledge and information available at the time and in the context of the security environment”.
Stephen Blanks, president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties said that although it is perfectly acceptable for ASIO to review the security threat of refugees wishing to live in Australia, the lack of transparency in the process is “completely unsatisfactory”.
The person under assessment is not allowed to know any detail of the findings against them or challenge ASIO’s decision in court.