Former Manus detainee now secretly deported to Christmas Island
A Sudanese man who fled war and persecution and was injured in riots in Manus Island in PNG has now been secretly deported from Melbourne to Christmas Island. Daniel Webb, from the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, says asylum seekers in Australia now live in fear.
A Sudanese man who fled war and persecution and was injured in riots in Manus Island in PNG has now been secretly deported from Melbourne to Christmas Island.
Daniel Webb, from the Human Rights Law Centre in Australia, says the deportation happened today morning under cover of darkness, with no notice given to the man's lawyer.
He says the man, who is using the pseudonym of Waleed, spent three years being moved from centre to centre, and was treated in Australia for his injuries sustained in the riot that killed Reza Berati.
Waleed still hasn't had his refugee application processed.
In April, almost 200 asylum seekers were granted community detention in Australia, many of them with young children.
RNZ International has been told some of them received calls from the Department of Immigration telling them that they could be deported.
Daniel Webb told Alex Perrottet asylum seekers in Australia now live in fear.
DANIEL WEBB: This was a secretive deportation under the cover of darkness without any notice to the man himself, without any notice to his friends and without any notice to his lawyer. And I have got to say I am concerned about what this deportation means for him. I mean it is a terrifying thing to be woken up in the middle of the night and bundled onto a plane. It is particularly terrifying when you have fled war and persecution and right now he will be very frightened that the next step for him is removal to Manus Island.
ALEX PERROTTET: And what was his status? I am guessing he had not been granted refugee status.
DW: Well he hasn't even had his refugee claims assessed yet so this guy has been in detention on different islands and different detention centres around the place for the last three years. He has been beaten by guards at the Manus detention centre. He still has not had his refugee claims resettled and we have got to realise in this country that it is just not okay to lock up innocent people indefinitely in tiny islands and bounce them around the Pacific like they are sort of pawns on a chess board. We need to assess their refugee claims and if they are found to be refugees allow them to begin rebuilding their lives.
AP: And what does this mean now? Because I think it was April we had hundreds of people that were released into what is called community detention. That is many people with families some people who had health issues were brought from Nauru and Manus island. We have been told that some of them have received calls from the department of immigration threatening that they to could be deported. What do you know about that and what sort of fears do they harbour?
DW: Well they are going to be terrified that they are next. And this is one of the first actions of the new Malcolm Turnbull government and this is not letting people stay. Secretive deportations to tiny islands in the middle of the night is not letting people stay. Now right now around Australia there will be three hundred people we are talking about 37 babies who were born in Australia. We are talking about children many of whom are going to be in classrooms around Australia as we speak. Them and their families are going to be really frightened by what happened last night and they are going to be really concerned that they are next. And I think it is well and truly time to realise these people have suffered enough. It is time to stop punishing them. It is time to let them stay.
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