Wednesday September 28 2005 8:45am WST
For Immediate Release
"Several Identity papers, confirming that the Bakhtiyari family were of Afghani nationality, were on the desk of Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone from January 2004," WA refugee lobby group Project SafeCom claims this morning, after the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the now expelled family.
"Paul Boylan and Associates, acting as lawyers for the family, sent the documentation to the Minister on January 21 2004, but the Minister deliberately ignored the documents, citing that this 'new information' fell outside the prescribed parameters of the family's refugee claim," a handy way of protecting the government's plans for the family, which was already intent to maintain the deliberate ploy to discredit the family's claims because it had seriously embarrassed the government."
"The family was simply too high profile, the former Immigration Minister Phillip Ruddock had already leaked confidential Immigration file information to a number of selected journalists in order to get traction for his claim that Mr Bakhtiyari was a liar and a Pakistani man. Consequently their fate was already sealed, and no attempts by lawyers could sway this determination."
"Both the Immigration Minister and the Attorney-General, Immigration Minister at the time, have serious questions to answer, at least right now before the current Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act, but in any case before the future Royal Commission into the treatment of refugees and Immigration detainees, a Commission Project SafeCom has called for since May this year."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]