A chilling government video shown to asylum seekers on Nauru warns refugees they will never “under any circumstances” be settled in Australia.
In the message obtained by Guardian Australia Immigration Minister Peter Dutton urges asylum seekers to take an offer to resettle in Cambodia.
Mr Dutton touts Cambodia as a “fast-paced and vibrant country”, and warns refugees to ignore the “divisive actions of a few who are intent on damaging the arrangement”.
“Cambodia provides a wealth of opportunity for new settlers. It is a fast-paced and vibrant country with a stable economy and varied employment opportunities,” Mr Dutton said.
“I want to thank those of you who have shown the courage to stand up and be included in the first flight.”
The resettlement offer follows a $40m deal between the Australian and Cambodian governments which will see the developing country accept refugees currently held on Nauru.
The United Nations’ refugee agency said they were “deeply concerned” by the deal where asylum seekers will be transferred to Cambodia, a country whose GDP ranks 113th out of 187 countries.
The government message takes a disturbing turn when Mr Dutton tells asylum seekers they will never be settled in Australia.
“I want to make it very clear to all refugees and transferees in Nauru that you will not, under any circumstances, be settling in Australia.”
“This is not an option that the Australian government will ever present to you.”
“The vast majority of the Australian public support the strong stance taken by Prime Minister Abbott and myself.”
The Coalition frontbencher warns refugees against listening to advice from refugee advocates to decline the deal, adding: “They are not right. Please do not listen to their messages.”
Mr Dutton tells those held on Nauru he and Mr Abbott were determined “to ensure that you will never settle in Australia.”
“Australia will never be a settlement destination for you or for your family.”