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Australian senator to probe ‘dirty deal’ for refugees

Australian senator to probe ‘dirty deal’ for refugees

Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is to visit Cambodia next week on a fact-finding mission in the wake of the recently signed refugee resettlement agreement.

​Former chief justice of the Family Court of Australia Alastair Nicholson will also be travelling to Cambodia, and his visit coincides with that of Senator Hanson-Young.

The two will meet in Phnom Penh and discuss the implications of the refugee deal.​

The senator’s office yesterday confirmed she would meet with NGOs, members of parliament and refugees currently living in Cambodia and would visit rural and deprived areas as well as prisons.

“Australia’s cruelty towards refugees is bringing international shame on our country, and now the government is trying to spread that to Cambodia,” Hanson-Young said.

“I’m going to get to the bottom of this dirty deal.”

Australia signed the refugee deal with Cambodia on September 26 over glasses of champagne at the Ministry of Interior.

Since then, it has been met with widespread condemnation both inside and outside of Cambodia, with protests taking place in detention centres on Nauru and at the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh.

As recently as late October, opposition deputy head Kem Sokha promised to write to the Australian government expressing concerns over the deal.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated that former chief justice of the Family Court of Australia Alastair Nicholson would be joining Senator Hanson-Young on the trip. Nicholson's trip coincides with Senator Hanson-Young's and he will meet her in Cambodia but he is not joining her on the trip.

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