Australia to reopen detention camp after refugees allowed medical access

NSW Doctor Sara Townend with other young doctors at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra

"This bill changes the response to medical emergencies in offshore detention on Manus Island and Nauru", Mr Glendenning said.

Independent lawmakers and the opposition Labor party voted together to pass the bill by 75 votes to 74, dealing a blow to the ruling conservative coalition, which is trailing heavily in polls ahead of an election due in May.

Australian PM Scott Morrison says he will re-open a controversial detention centre on Christmas Island, after a historic defeat in parliament.

The vote in favour of the Bill came amid growing concern about the well-being of asylum seekers sent to Nauru and Papua New Guinea, with reports of abuse, suicide and lengthy detention periods.

"I totally repudiate the attacks of the Government, seeking to whip up fear and hysteria, seeking to lure people smugglers to entice people onto boats to come to Australia". People have died as a result.

The later version of the Labor proposal applies the same section of the Migration Act but adds the condition that the minister must "reasonably believe the person would expose the Australian community to a serious risk of criminal conduct".

Immigration policy requires asylum seekers intercepted at sea to be sent to camps in PNG and its northern island of Nauru, and they can not set foot in Australia, even if they are found to be refugees.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg Endorses Green New Deal
Republicans have used the Green New Deal to paint the rival party as shifting to the left and embracing extreme policies. Earlier in his speech, he'd suggested the deal would mean "you're not allowed to own cows anymore".

Also in the Swiss city on Wednesday night, Abdul Aziz Muhamat, a Sudanese refugee activist who has spent five years on Manus Island, won the Martin Ennals Award 2019, one of the most prestigious worldwide human rights prizes, organizers said.

History has been made in the House of Representatives. "It also brings global attention to the dangers and ill-treatment faced by refugees all over the world, including in countries that claim they uphold the Refugee Convention", he said in an acceptance statement.

The Christmas Island immigration detention camp, south of Jakarta, Indonesia, was a favorite target of people smugglers who brought asylum seekers from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in rickety boats from Indonesian ports before the trade virtually stopped in recent years.

What happened at Christmas Island previously?

The center on Australian territory has been the scene of violent riots, hunger strikes, and numerous incidents of self-harm.

Constitutional expert Anne Twomey, a professor of law at the University of Sydney, said the Solicitor-General's opinion was "pretty fair and accurate" but that the final decision was up to the Parliament itself, with completely different views on section 53 between the two chambers.

"Morrison will be happy to fight an election on this issue".

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