downer - just let the fool talk

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    Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has defended the Government's attempts to return asylum seekers to Iraq despite describing Saddam's regime as the most "barbarous in the world".

    Mr Downer has been speaking in Federal Parliament against the Iraqi Government, accusing it of sanctioning murder and torture.

    But on ABC radio in Adelaide this morning Mr Downer said those being sent back are deemed not at risk from Saddam.

    "We don't send people back who would be at risk. We send people back who we think have been rorting the system," he said.

    Mr Downer was asked if Government could justify sending any human being back to a regime it decries as "inhuman".

    "Not all people in Iraq. There are 22 to 23 million people in Iraq, not all of them are going to be put to death I suspect."
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