Australia 'to re-open' controversial detention centre

Kalerkantho Online   

13 February, 2019 14:35 PM

Australia 'to re-open' controversial detention centre

The Christmas Island detention centre operated from 2003-2018/Reuters

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Australian PM Scott Morrison says he will re-open a controversial detention centre on Christmas Island, after a historic defeat in parliament.

On Tuesday, non-government MPs secured enough votes to pass a bill making it easier for sick refugees held offshore to be treated in the country, according to BBC report.

Mr Morrison said the law would weaken the nation's tough border policies and embolden human traffickers.

Opponents accused him of spreading fear before an impending election.

Since 2013, Australia has sent asylum seekers arriving by boat to detention centres on Manus Island (Papua New Guinea) and Nauru.

It previously also sent detainees to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean which is about 2,600km (1,600 miles) from the mainland and 300km south of Indonesia.