A last minute application in Federal Circuit Court and an appeal to the United Nations Human Rights Commission are underway to try and prevent the forced removal of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan.

The decision by the Federal Circuit Court is due to handed down at 3pm this afternoon. The 29 year-old Afghan asylum seeker, who arrived in Australia in December 2011, is scheduled to be removed to Afghanistan at 9.40pm tonight (Tuesday 26 August).

If the government succeeds in removing this asylum seeker, it will be the first forced removal of an Afghan asylum seeker to Afghanistan.

The official Afghan government position is that they will not accept forced removals from Australia.

The government’s last attempt, in February this year, was stopped at the last minute by a Federal Circuit Court order.

“It is shocking that the Minister would consider sending anyone to Afghanistan given the deteriorating security situation there,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The country assessment was done almost two years ago in December 2012.
There is no doubt that the situation has seriously deteriorated since then.

“The political vacuum in Afghanistan is being filled by daily violence, and the situation is dramatically unstable.

The Taliban are making daily gains. Kabul itself is not safe. Hazara areas of the city are now being constantly shelled.

“The case also reveals serious flaws in the refugee determination system and the inconsistency of Refugee Review Tribunal decisions.

At least eight other RRT decisions using more recent country information have recognised the danger in Jaghori province and granted protection visas.

“Given the Afghan government’s unwillingness to issue travel documents, we have serious concerns that the government is using dodgy documents to facilitate his removal from Australia.

This will also make his situation in Afghanistan more precarious and more dangerous.

“The Minister has the power to prevent this obvious lack of natural justice. Afghanistan is unsafe for anyone.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

Refugee Action Collective Queensland

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