September 22, 2012
LAWYERS for an Afghan asylum seeker last night failed to prevent his deportation, which could be as early as tomorrow.
A Federal Court judge refused to grant an injunction preventing the removal of the Hazara man, 34, after counsel for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the application was misconceived.
Lawyers for the man, from the Ghazni province, sought the injunction on the grounds that he had not exhausted his appeal rights after he was refused refugee status. They also argued that the only place to which he could be deported was Afghanistan, where he insists he has a well-founded fear of persecution and would be ”at real risk of arbitrary deprivation of his life”.
They were considering an appeal to the High Court last night.
Refugee advocates say that the deportation, which would be the first involuntary return to Afghanistan, is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon.
The Saturday Age understands immigration authorities have been pushing Afghanistan to accept up to 10 men under an arrangement signed last year for the return of failed asylum seekers, despite warnings from human rights groups that the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated.
It is believed Afghan officials have resisted issuing travel documents for the men until local authorities can establish their identity – leading Australia to make a direct appeal to Kabul to allow the deportations.
The asylum seekers facing deportation had been living in the community for six months on a bridging visa. They had been released from detention in remote Western Australia.