Faith in action
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An Iraqi man who is being held at Villawood Detention Centre is facing imminent deportation back to Iraq, having had both his original application denied and his appeal dismissed because it was filed too late.
The man has been on a hunger strike and has diminished health as a result. He is known as Saeed.
A spokesperson for the Department for Immigration and Border Protection said in a statement:
“This individual has had their claims for protection carefully assessed. Their application was refused by the Department and affirmed as refused through an independent merits review process. Their appeals to the Federal Court and the full bench of the Federal Court were also rejected. It is now expected they should depart Australia. For operational reasons, the Department does not discuss details of specific removals.”
Advocates say this is a miscarriage of justice and that Saeed faces real danger in Iraq and that he should be allowed to stay, because:
· Saeed fled Iraq with his brother, fearing for their lives, as they are part of a religious minority. The local head of their ethnic group was reportedly murdered in a suicide attack two years ago.
· His brother, who had an almost identical claim to asylum, was granted refugee status.
· Saeed does not speak English and advocates report that he was never told that he had the right to appeal his original refugee determination decision, so that by the time that he did, he was told by the Federal Court that the merits of his case could not be appealed, because he took too long to put it in.