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Navy’s interception is a hijacking

Navy’s interception is a hijacking

Asylum seeking is not unlawful under Australian or international law, so nobody has ever been prosecuted in this country for seeking asylum. The Tamils on the boat in the Indian Ocean no doubt intend to seek asylum. There is nothing unlawful about that.

As for the boat itself, it is neither suspected nor alleged that it should be carrying prohibited or dangerous goods like arms or drugs.

So by what right does the Australian navy intercept this boat on the high seas? By what right does it take control of those on board? Freedom of the seas is a basic principle of international law. Interception is not the right word. What is the difference between recent naval action and a hijacking?

– Thomas Mautner, Griffith ACT, CLA member, in the Canberra Times 7 July 2014

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