Australia to free some asylum seekers from centres
The release of the first 27 men from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka to live on temporary visas has been welcomed.
Canberra: The Australian government says it will free more than 100 asylum seekers each month from overcrowded detention centres that are being overwhelmed by new boat arrivals.
The release on Friday of the first 27 men from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka to live on temporary visas with family and friends in Australian cities while their refugee claims are assessed has been welcomed by human rights and refugee advocates.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said on Friday that his department would choose who would be freed on visas based on how long asylum seekers had been in detention, how well they had behaved and the ability of family and friends to house them.