Iranian Baxter detainee missing, feared being deported

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Iranian Baxter detainee missing, feared being deported

Media Release
Tuesday April 7 2004 17:45pm WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

Refugee advocates fear the Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone is deliberately using absence of lawyers and human rights advocates during the Easter break to deport single Iranian asylum seekers back to their country under the government's secret MOU with the Islamic country.

A 23-year old Iranian - a single young man - has 'gone missing' from the Baxter "White One" compound, and refugee advocates fear the worst, especially because while in an Australian detention centre, the man converted to Christianity, which makes his return to Iran an issue which greatly endangers his life once he would return at Tehran airport.

Under the terms of the cultural Sharia laws of Iran, membership of a non-Muslim faith is regarded as an extremely serious offense, classified as a heresy.

Project SafeCom spokesperson Jack Smit commented that the suspected deportation comes as no surprise, given the record of the Howard government in relation to dealing with asylum seekers.

"It has become clear that the government wants to rid Australia of especially single male Iranians, and the government will use any opportunity to enact their "stubborn, stupid and blind injustice", deporting people back to countries where, given their situation, they would fear imprisonment, death, or one or more of Iran's more than seventy torture and punishment methods."

"This man will right now feel tortured already - one of the things Australia vowed to avoid at all times, under its obligations to the UN Refugee Convention."

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For more information:

Jack H Smit
Coordinator
Project SafeCom Inc.
Phone 0417 090 130

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