“Recent reports that the Australian Navy has turned back two asylum seeker boats to Indonesian waters remain shrouded under a veil of secrecy. Australia remains subject to downgraded levels of co-operation with Indonesia on people smuggling as a result of last year’s spying standoff.
Despite this, the Abbott government appears to have directed the Australian Defence Force to undertake legally questionable border control practices. “Pushing back” asylum seeker boats is a move not practised since Operation Relex under the Howard government.
The striking similarity is the concealment used by both governments to deceive the Australian public. Hiding government border control policy behind the word “operational” is a concerning move that diminishes the checks and balances of democratic control of the armed forces.”
Click here to read the full article in The Conversation.