Australia deports Iraqi asylum seeker whose appeal was due next week
Australian immigration and asylum Australia deports Iraqi asylum seeker whose appeal was due next week
Lawyers scrambled to get a legal injunction preventing the deportation but were kept from contacting the man in time
Australian immigration authorities have deported an Iraqi asylum seeker against his will and d espite there being a pending court case scheduled to sit next week.
Advocates and lawyers scrambled on Wednesday night to get a legal injunction but were prevented from contacting the man on the phone, and by the time a barrister was found to lodge an injunction, the asylum seeker was already on a plane.
The man was scheduled to have an appeal before the federal circuit court on 19 September â" next week.
The Iraqi ambassador to Australia, Dr Hussain Mahdi Al-Ameri, last year said his embassy would not issue travel documents to Iraqi asylum seekers unless they were clearly willing and had written a request.
The Iraqi embassy was contacted by advocates for the man on Wednesday, and advised of the deportation.
It was told that the man had received a removal notice at the end of last month, but heâd believed a separate notice of his directions hearing, sent on 5 September, meant he would not be removed.
Advocates and friends were adamant he had not signed anything. They wrote to the Iraqi embassy after his deportation to request clarification on the Iraqi governmentâs position on forceful deportations.
â[He] did not have a lawyer and was isolated from support in immigration detention. I was notified by another detainee who said [he] had been removed by guards from Hawk compound around 3pm and had been threatening self harm with a razor (fortunately this did not happen),â the letter.
âThere were considerable efforts throughout last night by myself, another advocate and a Perth solicitor to engage the Australian government solicitor and ABF [Australian Border Force], but to no avail.â
The man had been at Yongah Hill immigration detention centre, where 22-year-old Sarwan Aljhedie died earlier this month. After detainees protested and fires destroyed much of the centre, Australian government officials sought to transfer the men across the countryâs detention network. Dozens were sent to Chr istmas Island, where many are now being told they will transferred back to the mainland.
It follows the forced deportation of at least a dozen Sri Lankan asylum seekers at 2am on Tuesday. They were transferred to Perth from various facilities, and flown out by charter plane. Some of those men also had court challenges pending, and some had been in Australian detention for more than six years.
The Australian government frequently uses private charter planes for its deportations and transfers of asylum seekers and refugees. In December the Department of Home Affairsâ three-year $63m contract with Skytraders will begin.
The company was engaged to meet the âvariable, discreet and confidentialâ operational demands of Border Force, âfor the movement of high-risk persons and departmental staff between on-shore and offshore locationsâ.
The tender said the department needs to take âlong-range, multisector flights with limited noticeâ.
The Depa rtment of Home Affairs and the ABF have been contacted for comment.Topics
- Australian immigration and asylum
- Law (Australia)
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