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Last Updated: Friday 15 November 2019
A long flight to freedom: how refugee Behrouz Boochani finally left his island jail behind
14 November 2019
The Kurdish Iranian refugee, kept in a limbo on Manus Island by Australia’s hardline immigration regime, made a final 34-hour journey to liberty
The flight to freedom is long.
Behrouz Boochani’s journey for a new homeland began in 2013 with a harried departure from Iran and a harrowing voyage on a leaky boat to Christmas Island. It stalled for six long years in Australia’s byzantine and capricious offshore detention system'.
Now, it has taken a monumental leap with his arrival in New Zealand.
But even the final voyage was labyrinthine. The final secretive mission to liberate Behrouz Boochani was an arcane 34-hour journey across three countries and six timezones in the Asia Pacific.
Medevac laws: doctors complain advice is not being given to Peter Dutton quickly enough
13 November 2019
Independent Health Advice Panel says there is a ‘lack of movement’ from Nauru when transfer to Australia recommended
Doctors overseeing the transfer of asylum seekers to Australia for medical treatment have raised concerns about delays in their advice being presented to Peter Dutton in the latest official snapshot of activity under the medevac regime.
That reference in the report, tabled in the Senate late on Wednesday, will reinforce concerns among refugee advocates that the medical transfer process has been slowed as the Morrison government has counted down the weeks until it can attempt to repeal the medevac regime, which was passed during the last parliament when the Coalition governed in minority.
As well as the complaint that advice isn’t getting to Dutton quickly enough, the Independent Health Advice Panel (IHAP) has also flagged concerns about the lack of in-person interpreters available for transferees – “especially those with mental health issues” – and about “lack of movement from Nauru when the panel has recommended transfer to Australia”.
'Designed to torture': asylum seeker chooses Iranian prison over PNG detention centre
11 November 2019
Man who spent nine weeks locked up inside Australian-funded centre in Port Moresby describes hunger, isolation and lack of legal suppor
Ariobarzan endured six years of detention inside and outside the barbed wire on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in the hope he would find a new life in Australia.
But after nine weeks at the Bomana immigration centre, a Canberra-funded detention centre in Port Moresby, the Iranian asylum seeker has signed up to go home.
Whatever fate awaits Ariobarzan (whom the Guardian has agreed to name using a pseudonym) in Iran, and it almost certainly means years in prison, he figures it can’t be worse than life inside Bomana.
'I can't believe I'm free': the Canadian citizens ending the torment for Australia’s offshore refugees
4 November 2019
A unique private sponsorship program has relocated dozens of people from Papua New Guinea to Canada, giving them a chance ‘to be human again’
“I can’t believe I am free, I can walk around and do whatever I want.”.
Amirhossein Sahragard hasn’t yet left the Toronto airport arrivals lounge when Guardian Australia speaks to him for the first time. He has found a Starbucks coffee and a phone plan, but is yet to see the outside of his new home country.
He is excited, exhausted and (repeatedly) expressing his disbelief at being there and not in Papua New Guinea, in detention, sick and distressed, punished for seeking asylum.
Five-year-old boy facing deportation from Australia because of mild disability
3 November 2019
Family appeals to immigration minister David Coleman to stop their deportation to Bangladesh
A five-year-old boy born in Australia is facing deportation to Bangladesh with his family after their visa applications were refused because his “mild disability” would be a burden on the medical system..
Dr Mahedi Hasan Bhuiyan arrived in Australia on a student visa in 2011. He and Rebaka Sultana married the next year in Bangladesh and she joined him in Australia in 2013. Later that year their son, Adyan, was born at a Geelong hospital.
A few months after his birth, Bhuiyan and Sultana noticed Adyan was struggling to lift up his head. Tests revealed he had a mild cerebral palsy, likely caused by a stroke shortly before or after his birth.