Dozens of refugees released after years detained by Australia

BRISBANE (HRNW) – Australia has freed dozens of refugees after holding them in detention for years under a policy designed to deter people from seeking asylum in the country, advocates said Tuesday.

More than 60 refugees were released over the past two days from hotels and detention centres in Brisbane, Sydney and Darwin, according to the Refugee Action Coalition and legal representatives.

They were granted temporary visas after spending up to eight years in Australian detention on Pacific islands before being transferred to the country for medical treatment.

Canberra has sent anyone attempting to arrive in Australia by boat to Papua New Guinea’s Manus island and Nauru, under a hardline approach it says is designed to prevent people-smuggling.

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