Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Statement Concerning Asylum Seekers in the Wake of the Attacks
September 14, 2001
The crude generalisation made by the Australian Minister of Defence, Peter
Reith, in a statement following the terrorist attack on the USA arouses deep
concern and dismay, said the Minister for Foreign Affairs Anna Lindh and
the Minister for Development Cooperation, Migration and Asylum Policy Maj-Inger
Klingvall in a joint statement today.
Reith maintains that the attack proves that his government was right to send
away the Afghani boat refugees in view of the security risk posed by asylum
To draw such groundless parallels not only stigmatised innocent asylum seekers
as potential terrorists, it was also a grave assault on the right of asylum
and the Geneva Convention.
The attack must be vigorously condemned. But it must not be used as a
pretext to threaten the right of asylum or to stir up animosity against asylum
seekers and refugees, said the ministers.