1 Jun 2005

Australia expects nine Afghans freed in Nauru

7:36 pm on 1 June 2005

An Australian refugee advocacy group says nine Afghan refugees released from Nauru are expected to arrive in Sydney within days.

The Afghans, including one born in detention, were told on Saturday that their claims for refugee status have been found to be genuine and they may now live in Australia permanently.

This follows comments from Marion Le, the lawyer for 54 detainees on Nauru, last week that she had discovered errors and incompetence in the processing of many of their claims.

The executive director of A Just Australia, Kate Gauthier, says thousands have been deported from detention in Australia generally on mistaken or false paperwork.

And she says this is good news for those on Nauru, whom most Australians have forgotten.

"The refugee advocacy movement is very encouraged with steps the Government is taking recently. They've reopened a lot of the cases of people in the mainland detention centres. We've seen some movement on Nauru, we've seen them making efforts to have children asylum seekers released. There's recently been a proposal by a member of the Liberal Party for some very sensible changes to the system of mandatory detention that's gaining widespread support amongst the Australian people."

Kate Gauthier.