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July 25, 2012

GOVERNMENT IGNORES TORTURE RISK AS TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKER DEPORTED

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Despite urgent attempts to initiate legal action this afternoon (Wednesday), the Tamil asylum seeker known as Mr X was deported from Melbourne around 2.30pm.

He was placed on a direct flight to Bangkok and is expected to be taken directly from Bangkok to arrive in Sri Lanka later tonight.

He is the first Tamil asylum seeker to be forcibly deported from Australia.

“This deportation is a shameful and dangerous precedent,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government has acted in a completely underhand way to prevent any court challenge to this deportation. The Minister knows that a High Court judgement is expected very soon that will potentially give further rights of appeal to asylum seekers facing deportation.

“The Minister is recklessly playing with this man’s life. The government has ignored the concerns of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and shows exactly why decision to deport must be subject to court review.

“It seems highly likely that this was decision to push through this deportation is directly tied to recent government negotiations about asylum seekers with the Rajapaksa government – a government internationally tainted by allegations of war crimes.

“There must be an immediate moratorium on deportations until the High Court case is settled. There have been too many instances of people deported from Australia facing arrest, torture and even death when they were returned. The government has an obligation not to deport asylum seekers to danger. Sri Lanka remains a very dangerous place where human rights are not respected.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713.

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