Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Long-term detainees deported to danger. Refugee Groups Call For Minister to
stop the deportations

Dear All,

below is a press release that was put out today (Tuesday) regarding the
on-going deportations - actually there
are not only long term asylum seekers being deported. Another young Indian
man faces deportation on 26

With Zac, we were able to get him back into legal process and his appeal
from the RRT to the Federal
Magistrates Court is on Friday. But in the longer run, there needs to be a
fundamental change in the way both
long termers and deportations are dealt with by Evans amnd the Department.



Long-term detainees deported to danger. Refugee Groups Call For Minister to
stop the deportations

Refugee groups have called on the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, to
stop the deportation of long-term
detainees and live up to Australia’s obligation not to return asylum
seekers to danger.

“Australia has an obligation to long term detainees,” said Ian Rintoul,
spokesperson for the Refugee Action
Coalition. “Chris Evans knows that many are asylum seekers are deported to
danger, yet he is signing off on
these deportations.

“He also recognizes the damage that is caused by long term detention.
Humanitarian consideration alone
should be enough for the Minister to intervene. He should, be setting an
example to the Department. But his
actions make a mockery of his claim that there is cultural change in the
Immigration department.“

Over the last few weeks, two long term Indian asylum seekers, Harinder and
Avtar, have been deported from Villawood. Both were detained when they arrived in India.

One Indian man, Avtar, deported from Australia in late August was detained,
beaten and threatened in three
different cities and was only released when his parents paid a 14,000 rupee

Now, another long-term detainee, Zakir Hussain Baghban, an Indian asylum
seeker, is facing deportation after
being held at Villawood for over three years.

Zakir is threatened with deportation to the Western Indian region of
Gujarat, where his family home was burned
down in anti-Muslim riots in 2002. There have been bombings there as
recently as 16 September 2008.

“The failings of the refugee determination process under the Howard
government means that many of those
facing deportation have not been legally represented or had the chance to
properly put their case to the
Minister. There is no room for mistakes when you are dealing with asylum
seekers – mistakes can cost lives.
One mistake is one too many,” said Ian Rintoul.

“When Harinder was deported the Minister’s office indicated that the
question of long term would be reviewed.
We are still waiting. The Minister has wide discretionary powers to
intervene. He needs to act urgently to stop
the deportations and review all the cases of the long-term detainees.”

For more information:
contact Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul: 0417 275 713.


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