Secret government documents obtained by the ABC – the ‘Cabinet Files’ – revealed that in 2013 then immigration minister Scott Morrison tried to prevent asylum seekers from being granted permanent protection visas by directing ASIO to delay their security checks. It is not known if ASIO complied with the request. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended Morrison’s actions, arguing Morrison had ‘stopped the boats’ during his tenure. Refugee advocates accused Morrison of having no regard for the law, and said his actions had torn families apart.
Reports from Bangladesh suggested the annual cyclone and monsoon season could threaten the lives of more than 800,000 Rohingya asylum seekers in camps along the Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Meanwhile, protesters in towns near the refugee camps, while sympathetic to the plight of the Rohingya, demanded that the Bangladesh Government arrange for them to be safely sent back to Myanmar.