Guantanamo intake unacceptable, says Malcolm Turnbull

KEVIN Rudd should immediately reverse a decision to allow former Guantanamo Bay inmates to resettle in Australia, the Opposition said today.

Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard has confirmed that Australia, along with a number of other countries, has been approached to consider resettling detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

“Any determination for an individual to come to Australia would be made on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

“For anyone to be accepted they would have to meet Australia’s strict legal requirement and go through normal rigorous assessment processes.”

But Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull said on Macquarie Radio the situation was unacceptable.

“It’s only in this morning’s report in The Australian that the Rudd government has made clear that it will accept these inmates of Guantanamo Bay,” he said.

“One of the things that is most troubling … is whether the Government would do so, accept former inmates from Guantanamo Bay, without disclosing that they have done so.

“This is why we need Mr Rudd to immediately and categorically reverse this decision to accept inmates of Guantanamo Bay for resettlement in Australia.”

Mr Turnbull said the inmates could arrive in Australia as refugees through existing migration processes.

“They cannot be accepted on the basis that they go into custody, because they haven’t committed any crime under Australian law,” he said.

“So what (Mr Rudd) has agreed to, with the Americans, is to accept Guantanamo Bay inmates for resettlement in Australia in our community as migrants and that is completely and utterly unacceptable to the Australian people and it’s certainly unacceptable to the Coalition.”