Immigration Department "desperately" trying to deport asylum man

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

Immigration Department "desperately" trying to deport asylum man

Media Release
Tuesday January 11 2005 7:05am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"Some officials in the Immigration Department are controlled by ruthless fanatics, who implement their cruel deportation regulations because they have the right to implement them, but they are fed by merciless torture considerations, and they prefer not to tell the Immigration Minister what they do", refugee advocacy group Project SafeCom claims today.

"It is time, that not just the Immigration Minister, but also John Howard himself, open their eyes to the fact that we deliver Iranians right into the hands of their torturers when we deport asylum seekers, who will move heaven and earth to prevent such deportations from happening, and acknowledge that this fear alone should be grounds for mercy and protection by Australia."

Yesterday evening refugee advocates in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney have been alerted to the fact that an asylum seeker had been scheduled to be deported to Iran by DIMIA more than three times in the last week, while each time the attempts to take the man have been thwarted because the man has violently resisted his deportation process.

Last week the man was taken from the Baxter detention centre by force, but his physical fight with the guards resulted in the deportation being aborted, and instead the man was brought to the Melbourne Maribyrnong detention centre.

Then on Sunday, he was taken from the Melbourne centre in another attempt to deport him, yet again he foiled the attempts by guards contracted by the Immigration Department to forcibly deport him on what is believed to have been an Emirates flight.

Next he was again taken on Monday morning from Maribyrnong - but again, through his display of fierce physical resistance, he was able to abort the attempts, and on Monday afternoon he was taken by car from the Melbourne centre, this time by car for what is believed to be a road-only trip to the Villawood Centre in Sydney.

According to advocates, the Villawood centre is chosen because they have "more experience with sedation" of deportees. It is also reported that some airlines, also Emirates Airlines, refuse embarkation of passengers or prisoners, if they are taken by force, and if they show unwillingness or resistance.

Project SafeCom has also received reports that Department of Immigration officials are deliberately trying to leave Minister Amanda Vanstone out of these operational decisions, so while possibly thousands of concerned Australians are trying to request a halt to deportations of Iranians, especially but not only Christians, by writing, faxing or phoning the Minister, either directly or via other members of the government or opposition parties, DIMIA staff use privileges available to them under 'operational matters', and they spare neither cost nor methods of cruelty to achieve their aims.

"Senior DIMIA officials would be charged with cruelty to animals if their actions would be perpetrated on horses or dogs, but they get off without scrutiny or inquiry because they operate their own torture kingdom under privilege and regulations, right here and right inside Australia."

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

Ian Rintoul
Refugee Action Coalition
[phone number posted]

Mark Goudkamp
Refugee Action Coalition
[phone number posted]

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