Fire in Australian immigration centre

Incident comes ahead of a final ruling by high court on the legality of a pending immigrant swap deal with Malaysia.

    Another detention centre was set on fire by detainees in April earlier this year during a protest [EPA]

    A fire was reported at an immigration detention centre in Australia ahead of a final ruling by the nation's highest court on the legality of a pending immigrant swap deal with Malaysia.

    Fire engines, police and ambulances were called to disturbances at the centre in the far-north city of Darwin on Wednesday, national broadcaster ABC reported.

    Two weeks ago, the court held up the deal which will see Canberra taking 4,000 refugees from Malaysia in return for Kuala Lumpur taking 800 asylum seekers from Australia.

    That ruling granted a temporary injunction to civil rights lawyers acting on behalf of asylum seekers.

    The lawyers argued that the deportations would be illegal because Malaysia does not meet the human rights standards stipulated in Australian law, as it is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

    Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, in a filing to the court, said Malaysia had made a "significant conceptual shift" in its treatment of asylum seekers and he deemed conditions there acceptable.

    Canberra is relying on the deal to deter the mostly Middle Eastern migrants who buy passages on Indonesian fishing boats to get to Australia and claim asylum.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Why Saudi-Israeli normalisation could be dangerous

    Apart from being disastrous for Palestine, normalising relations with Israel could get Saudi Arabia in real trouble.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    What is Mohammed bin Salman's next move?

    There are reports Saudi Arabia is demanding money from the senior officials it recently arrested.