Australia’s indefinite detention of refugees cruel, inhuman, UN says

A UN watchdog has called on Australia to release 46 refugees being held in indefinite detention, labelling it cruel and arbitrary.

The UN Human Rights Committee has slammed Australia’s treatment of the group, saying the country broke global human rights rules by denying the group a chance to challenge their detention.

In a review of complaints from the refugees — 42 Sri Lankan Tamils, three Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and a Kuwaiti — the committee said the detention was arbitrary and broke the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Australia’s indefinite detention of 46 recognised refugees on security grounds amounted to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, inflicting serious psychological harm on them, the committee said in a statement.

The plaintiffs arrived at Australia’s remote Christmas Island between March 2009 and December 2010 — via

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