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Bombshell revelation in detainee saga

Written by on May 10, 2024

Australia’s top court has dismissed a plea from an Iranian asylum seeker who has refused to return to his home country, a decision that will keep more than a hundred of immigration detainees behind bars.

The High Court handed down its ruling on Friday in the case of an Iranian detainee, known as ASF17, who has refused to return to Iran where he fears persecution because of his sexuality and religious faith.

It is understood up to 170 immigration detainees will not be released due to the landmark decision.

Friday’s ruling means the government will not be forced to release people from detention where they cannot be removed from Australia, even if their unwillingness to cooperate is a contributing factor.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said the government had “fought strongly to defend our position in the High Court.”

“We welcome today’s unanimous decision of the Court, which has found that individuals who are not cooperating with their own removal are able to remain in immigration detention until they are removed from Australia,” Mr Giles said.

“Community safety continues to be our highest priority and we will continue to take all necessary steps to keep Australians as safe as possible.”

The case was heard following a landmark High Court ruling in November that found indefinite detention to be unlawful.

The NZYQ case triggered the release of about 150 non-citizens into the community, including those who had been convicted of serious crimes such as murder and rape.

Labor tried and failed to ram through legislation to attempt to jail detainees who resist deportation at least one year ahead of Friday’s court decision.

The Bill was sent to a Senate inquiry earlier this week which supported the passage of the contentious laws, which could see visa applications from countries that do not accept citizens being involuntarily returned, such as Iran, Iraq and South Sudan, be blocked by the Immigration Minister.

Friday’s ruling also follows a political firestorm over why a former detainee charged with his alleged involvement in a violent Perth home invasion had his ankle monitoring bracelet removed after advice from a community protection board.

Ninette Simons, 73, and her 76-year-old husband Philip were victims of a home invasion after three men allegedly conned their way into her Perth home by pretending to be police officers.

Police allege Mr Simons was tied up and his wife was physically assaulted before $200,000 worth of jewellery was stolen from their home.

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Speaking in Canberra ahead of Friday’s decision, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese argued the government should have the capacity to deport people who had “no right” to remain in Australia.

“They’ve exhausted their legal processes, they’ve been found not to have any right to stay here, they shouldn’t be just allowed to self-nominate in staying here,” Mr Albanese said.

“These are not people who have been found to be refugees, indeed the opposite is the case, they should not be just allowed to stay here.”

Read related topics:Immigration