News / Asia

Elderly Afghan Hazara Fights Deportation from Australia

Phil Mercer
Australia’s High Court has delayed the deportation of a 65-year old Afghan man just hours before his scheduled expulsion. The Hazara man arrived in Australia in 2011 and claims he has not lived in Afghanistan for decades. If the man is ultimately deported, it would be one of the first Hazara expulsions from Australia in recent years.
 
The case will resume Thursday, when the court will decide if it has grounds to appeal his removal from Australia.
 
The Afghan, whose name the court has been withheld for security reasons, is illiterate and told authorities he has lost contact with relatives back home. He claims he left the country in the 1980s, fleeing persecution.


For a long period he lived in Quetta in Pakistan, but there, too, he felt persecuted because of his ethnic background.


In 2011, he arrived in Australia seeking asylum. Last year, his case was reviewed by Australia’s Refugee Review Tribunal, which rejected his application to stay in Australia permanently.
 
Hazaras are considered a persecuted ethnic minority in Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan. Although the tribunal decided that it would be too dangerous for him to return to his home province of Uruzgan, it ruled he could be returned safely to the Afghan capital, Kabul.
 
The tribunal’s position has been disputed by Sonia Caton, the head of the Refugee Council of Australia.
 
“He has vulnerabilities such as his age, his illiteracy, the fact that he has no contacts or relatives at all in Kabul and hardly any in Afghanistan, would make him a very serious consideration for complementary protection, and no reasons were given for refusing complementary protection,” said Caton.
 
Lawyers representing the Australian government have argued that the Afghan man has had the opportunity over the past year to apply to delay his deportation but had failed to so.
 
Professor William Maley, from the Australian National University, said sending a Hazara back to Afghanistan could have catastrophic consequences.
 
“This is one of these rare cases where you can say with some confidence that the probability that those who orchestrate the return of someone like this to Kabul will end up having blood on their hands is pretty high,” said Maley.
 
Australia grants visas to about 20,000 refugees each year under various international agreements.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid