Australia cannot guarantee legal protection for asylum seekers and private contractors who wish to give potentially damning evidence at the upcoming Senate inquiry into the Manus Island disturbances.
With tensions rising in the facility, mainly due to the red tape and delays in processing the asylum seekers; which has lead to riots and unrest resulting in many injuries, and even the death of an Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Barati.
Australia want answers now, but without the responsibility that comes with them.
This is going to be a long and difficult investigation, and with tensions running high, retribution for giving evidence is very possible. The stakes are high; in a foreign land with no friends you still want to do the right thing. But with the fear of being targeting for telling the truth and helping the enquiry, and with no guarantee of your safety, just how motivated will anyone be. Where is the fairness, where is the common sense?
Being told that giving evidence is entirely voluntary and that they should not say anything that they think, might cause them to be penalized by any person outside Australia or any other government is a complete copout, and is an attempt to remove themselves from any incident that might occur in the commission.
What happened to a fair go Tony Abbott? How about giving these asylum seekers a fair go! You want the truth and an inquiry that is accurate. Then we demand you give assurance and protection to those that seek to help.
Give them a fair go!