To: Minister Peter Dutton

No jail time for doctors and teachers who speak out

No jail time for doctors and teachers who speak out

This petition calls for an amendment to the new Border Force Act, which was passed quietly on May 14 by both major parties. The Act means "entrusted people" in detention centres recording or disclosing information about conditions in the centres can face up to two years jail time. We demand an amendment to the Act stipulating no jail time and no fines for whistleblowers. The law must allow protection for whistleblowers that expose issues not just to "save a life", but to speak publicly about issues that affect the physical and mental health of this vulnerable population.

Why is this important?

Our so-called democratic government just passed laws that penalise health, education or human rights advocates for speaking out on behalf of a vulnerable population – asylum seekers. Australia is not a country that will stand for jailing or penalising people that speak out about the human rights infringements of our government or its contractors. We must demand amendments to these laws.

The head of the Australasian Royal College of Physcians, Dr Nicholas Talley and the president of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Brian Owler have spoken out against the Border Force Act's penalisation laws.

TWEET: #NoJailForOurDuty
EMAIL: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton: minister@immi.gov.au

"Dear Minister Dutton,

I am aware that your government has just passed laws that penalise doctors and teachers for speaking out on behalf of people under their care in detention centres.

Australia is not a country that will stand for jailing or penalising people that speak out about the infringements or abuses of our government or its contractors.

I am requesting an amendment to the Border Force Act stipulating no jail time and no fines for whistleblowers.

Australian law must allow protection for whistleblowers that expose issues, not just to "save a life", but to speak publicly if need be about issues that affect the physical and mental health of this vulnerable population that we have a duty to protect.

Yours in anticipation"

IN THE MEDIA:
http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/doctors-and-teachers-gagged-under-new-immigration-laws-20150603-ghft05.html
http://m.smh.com.au/comment/doctors-must-be-allowed-to-speak-freely-on-poor-detention-centre-conditions-20150608-ghih50.html
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-28/barns-newhouse-detention-centre-secrecy-just-got-even-worse/6501086

How it will be delivered

The petition will be delivered to Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton and other members of parliament

TWEET: #NoJailForOurDuty
EMAIL: Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton: minister@immi.gov.au
[See example email content above]


Reasons for signing

  • It is the beginning of dictatorship to mute the mouths of those who object to injustice and advocacy for others.
  • Freedom of speech is our right and there needs to be a dissenting voice. Stop the big brother control of our people and our country
  • I signed because I believe all workers who speak about their working conditions must have the right to speak out if they feel something is wrong. This is certainly the case.

Updates

2015-07-03 18:31:01 +1000

The government's current counter argument is that Section 48 allows for disclosure where an:
"… entrusted person reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious threat to the life or health of an individual". But what is a "serious threat"? And what constitutes health in this law. Lawyer and ANU lecturer in Migration Law, Khanh Hoang, interprets that "Whistleblowers must make judgements about whether a threat to life or health is “serious” enough to warrant disclosure and then be willing to defend their actions in court."
This will certainly have a deterrent effect on whistleblowers.

2015-07-03 18:21:52 +1000

So far, over 120 people have written to Minister Dutton. Keep making our voices heard!

2015-07-03 17:56:38 +1000

Just interviewed by Bill Woods on Radio 2UE about the Border Force Act and the thousands of people standing up against the deterrent implications for whistleblowers. Let's keep up the pressure, people!

2015-07-02 17:06:12 +1000

5,000 signatures reached

2015-06-22 15:18:40 +1000

1,000 signatures reached

2015-06-22 13:45:16 +1000

500 signatures reached

2015-06-21 17:06:01 +1000

100 signatures reached

2015-06-21 13:50:45 +1000

50 signatures reached

2015-06-11 22:58:08 +1000

25 signatures reached

2015-06-09 15:33:39 +1000

10 signatures reached