The Human Rights Committee, acting under article 5, paragraph 4, of the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, is of the view that the State party has violated the authors’ rights under articles 7, and 9, paragraphs 1, and 4 of the Covenant.
The UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva found that Australia has committed 143 serious violations of international law by indefinitely detaining 46 refugees for four years, on the basis of their ‘adverse security assessments’ issued by ASIO, according to Professor Ben Saul.
Australia breached its obligations under a binding treaty accepted by Australia, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
Specifically the UN found:
- 46 cases of illegal detention, because Australia did not individually justify their detention, inform them of the specific reasons why they threatened security, did not use less invasive means of addressing any security risks, and did not afford them adequate legal safeguards;
- 46 instances where the refugees had no effective judicial remedies for illegal detention, because the Australian High Court has previously said that indefinite detention cannot be challenged;
- 46 cases of inhuman or degrading treatment in detention, because the arbitrary nature of the refugees’ detention, its protracted or indefinite nature, the lack of information or procedural rights provided to the refugees, and the difficult conditions of detention, are cumulatively inflicting serious psychological harm on them.