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November 15, 2011

GOVERNMENT MOVES TO FORCE DEPORTATIONS TO AFGHANISTAN

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee advocates have condemned government moves to deport a 27 year-old Hazara Afghan asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, from Villawood to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Ismail received a notice of removal last Friday and he has since been held in the Stage one (Blaxland), high security section of Villawood detention centre. The deportation is scheduled for Saturday 19 November.

The deportation would be the first forced deportation since the Australian and Afghan governments signed a controversial Memorandum of Understanding in January this year.

“Until now, the Afghan government has ruled out accepting forced deportations. We are hoping that the Afghan government will again rule out forced removals when they understand what the Australian government intends to do.

“This deportation would set a dangerous precedent for the deportation of other Hazara asylum seekers who have come to the end of possible legal process,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Many refugee determinations accept Hazara claims of persecution but are denying refugee status because the assessor claims that they can live safely in Kabul. But there is no doubt that neither, Afghanistan as a whole, nor Kabul in particular is safe for Hazaras. If anything, Afghanistan is becoming less secure and less safe.

“Ismail fled Afghanistan in 2001, after his father was killed. His province, Wardak, remains notoriously dangerous for Hazaras. Like so many other Hazaras, Ismail has been told he can return to Kabul, but Ismail is not from Kabul. Besides the danger, Ismail has no family, no community ties, no social support and no hope.

“Australian government is reneging on its obligation to provide protection to asylum seekers by trying to impose a form of internal displacement on Hazaras. The Memorandum of Understanding makes a mockery of Australia’s commitment not to return asylum seekers to danger.

“In light of the instability in Afghanistan, we are calling on the Minister to stop Ismail’s deportation and review all Hazara refugee claims.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 7613.

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