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Amnesty Calls on Australia to Free Refugees in Pacific Island Camps

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2003 04:03 AM EDT

Activists of Amnesty International, a human rights campaign group marched on the home of Austrailian Primej Minister John Howard on 1 July, demanding Australia's prompt action of freeing child refugees held in Nauru camps, the Reuters reported on 2.

The 22 chairmen and directors of Amnesty missions in Asia assisted that Australia should release 112 children detained on the Pacific Island immediately. "Australia is losing its reputation as a human rights leader since its treatment of asylum seekders has tarnished. We call on the Australia government to live up to its leadership in human rights practice," said Srirak Plipat, director of Amnesty International in Thailand.

Australia set up camps in Pacific nations such as Nauru and Papua New Guinea to house people who try to enter Australia to claim asylum in 2001.

And for a long time, the government has rejected asylum seekers arriving in the country and kept them in outback camps which has brought criticism from human rights groups and the United Nations.