The NSW Council for Civil Liberties (CCL) has condemned the push by the Federal Government to advance new laws further stripping away the rights of Australians.
The text of the new bills has not been released. According to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, they will impose conditions on the control, return and re-entry of Australians who have been in conflict zones. They will also make it easier to strip citizenship from Australians who have been convicted of terrorism offences.
CCL President Pauline Wright said, “The proposed changes that have been flagged by the Prime Minister are deeply concerning. Already, we have seen heavy penalties imposed on people for so-called terrorism offences that amount to no more than conducting an internet search or possessing a ‘thing’. Now, people convicted of these kinds of offences may also be automatically stripped of their citizenship, if the government considers they are dual citizens.”
“It is deeply troubling that the government proposes to lower the bar so that the government only needs a ‘reasonable belief’ that a person is a dual citizen. This would mean that the government could strip citizenship from Australians who have no other country to call home. We could see an Australian rendered stateless and then forcibly deported to a country where they have no connection, based on the ‘reasonable’ but flawed belief of the government.”
“For years, fundamental civil liberties have been whittled away in Australia by governments under the guise of counter-terrorism. These proposals highlight once again the need for the meaningful protection of human rights in Australia,” concluded Wright.
Contacts in relation to this statement.
0418 292 656
0414 448 654