The United Nations has called for a Tamil family who are currently being detained by Australian authorities on Christmas Island, to be released “into community setting arrangements”, as the legal battle to deport them to Sri Lanka continues.
The UN-issued interim measures states that the Tamil family should be “released into community setting arrangements or [the immigration department should] find another way to release them from detention within 30 days”, said Carina Ford, a lawyer for the detained family.
Though the Australian government is not legally obligated to carry out the UN recommendations, Ford said she hoped they would be “persuasive” in compelling authorities to act.
“We were effectively asking for an alternative arrangement to them continuing to be contained,” said Ford. “There’s nowhere for them to go, it’s not like you can escape from Christmas Island and go somewhere else,” she said. “It seems unnecessarily heavy.”