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Stop the boats — the lie of saving lives at sea
|Stop the Boats — The Lie of Saving Lives at Sea|
|Directed by||Nicolai Jung|
|Produced by||Phil Miller|
Stop the Boats — The Lie of Saving Lies at Sea is a 2017 film focusing on the 'turnback' operation of one boat, the Andika, by the Government of Australia in May 2015 that was heading to New Zealand. It is the only film dealing with 'turnback' operations of Operation Sovereign Borders.
The film documents the journey of one refugee boat that attempted to travel to New Zealand but was intercepted by Australia as part of Operation Sovereign Borders. The film was shot in West Timor (the Indonesian part of Timor), Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The film premiered at the Nuremburg International Human Rights Film Festival in October 2017. It was also screened at special event by Medico International on the 14th of November 2017 and Sea Watch on the 7th of November 2017. It was screened at Unite Union in New Zealand in 2019 and was also selected to be screened at the Marxism 2019 conference in Melbourne Australia.
The subject of the film generated considerable media coverage after it emerged that a payment was made to the crew while the boat was turned around. This information was revealed by Indonesian police on the 1st of June 2015. The following day media in New Zealand asked the Prime Minister John Key for comment, and media in Australia asked Prime Minister Tony Abbott for comment.
According to an Amnesty International report the boat had a credible chance of arriving in New Zealand however it was intercepted by Australian authorities outside of Australian jurisdiction. The Andika had 65 passangers (54 Sri Lankans (Tamils), 10 Bangladeshis, one person from Myanmar) and five additional crew.
The boat departed from Indonesia on the 5th of May and was first intercepted by Australian forces on the 17th of May 2015, and again on the 22nd of May when the refugees were removed. They were sent back on two less seaworthy boats, and shipwrecked off Rote Island, Indonesia on 31 May 2015.
On the 2nd of June 2015 New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was asked about the situation in the New Zealand media. He said if one boat made it New Zealand "it would open up a pretty easy pathway to replicate". In one interview he would not say which New Zealand authorities first found out about the boat, or whether New Zealand's spy agencies had been involved, saying it was "a while ago, but I can't really go into all the details for some obvious reasons, but yeah, I knew some time ago." In another interview however he said they had been advised "a couple of weeks back" about the sea-worthiness of the boat to reach New Zealand and was getting daily updates from "ODESC [Domestic and External Security Committee]". Labour politicians attacked Key in parliament for scare-mongering denying the possibility of the boat arriving
The Green Party raised the possibility that the New Zealand intelligence agencies the Government Communications Security Bureau and New Zealand Security Intelligence Service had been involved in tracking the boat and if so were “complicit in violating international law, the Refugee Convention and ignoring the UN’s criticism of Australia".
Newspaper editorials strongly criticised the operation and called from PM John Key to distance the government from likely payments made by Australia to the ship to the ships crew to be turned around. This was also raised by Michael Timmins. Former Green MP Keith Locke raised the incident "raises the question of whether the Australian navy is under instructions from the New Zealand government to intercept any such boat and send it back to Indonesia." 
- Stop the Boats – The Lie of Saving Lives at Sea official website at Yardstick Films
- Stop the Boats – The Lie of Saving Lives at Sea on Film Freeway
- Stop the Boats – The Lie of Saving Lives at Sea on IMDb
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