• Although Australia has a strong record protecting civil and political rights, it has persistently undercut refugee protections. Australia’s government actions, including processing asylum seakers offshore, turning back boats, and fast-tracking screening measures at sea, placed refugees and asylum seekers at greater risk than ever of being returned to a country where they face repression or torture. Australia’s vague and broad new counterterrorism laws infringe on the basic rights of all Australians. Human Rights Watch launched its first-ever office in Australia in August 2013, with the aim of increasing engagement with the Australian government on human rights issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • Indonesian security forces stand guard during a prisoner transfer at the gate to a ferry port for boats heading to the prison island of Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap, Central Java March 4, 2015. Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were being transferred on Wednesday from a Bali prison to an island for execution along with other foreigners, underlining Indonesia's determination to use the death penalty despite international criticism.