Australian Immigration Department to post refugee deporting video on YouTube

10:10, August 02, 2011      

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Online videos of asylum seekers boarding planes from Australia to Malaysia will be posted on YouTube, in an effort to discourage asylum seekers making the dangerous boat journey to Australia, Immigration Department confirmed on Tuesday.

Under a deal signed last week, Malaysia will accept up to 800 asylum seekers arriving by boat in return for Australia taking 4000 processed refugees.

The first boatload earmarked for Malaysia, with 54 asylum seekers on board, arrived in Australia on Sunday and is heading to Christmas Island to be processed.

According to Immigration department spokesman Sandi Logan, the detainees will be filmed as they are moved from Christmas Island, board a plane to Malaysia and check into accommodation in the Southeast Asian country.

He said the footage would send a powerful message to people smugglers and their customers that the game was up.

"We will be filming from the moment they carry their bags on the bus from the detention center," he told ABC News on Tuesday.

"Some of the people we are dealing with may be not overly literate so seeing people being loaded on to a plane, people being checked into a processing center is as strong a message as you can send."

Logan said social media are the perfect tool to get the message across about the dangers of making the journey, to people who may not have high levels of literacy.

Logan added that the video is designed to save lives.

"I don't think there's an element of voyeurism. It's an element of seeking to influence people not to get on a rickety, dangerous boat, not to take that very risky voyage across the northern waters to Australia, and not to engage with people smugglers," he said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday indicated that authorities on Christmas Island will be authorized to use force to make sure asylum seekers get on board aircraft taking them to Malaysia.

She said the government would "do what was necessary" to make sure the asylum seekers obeyed orders and would not rule out using force to make children board the planes to Malaysia

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