October 31, 2012
A Tamil asylum seeker who was about to be deported from Melbourne to Sri Lanka has won a last-minute reprieve from the Federal Court.
The 42-year-old man was supposed to leave this afternoon, after the court refused to grant him refugee status yesterday.
But an urgent appeal hearing in Sydney has resulted in a stay of his deportation.
The man was recently released into the community in Melbourne, after spending two-and-a-half years in detention.
But he was called to a meeting with immigration officials at the Maribyrnong detention centre last week and told he was being deported.
About 20 protesters scuffled with police at the gates to the detention centre, where they staged a sit-in.
The Refugee Action Collective says the man is terrified of returning to Sri Lanka because two of his brothers disappeared during the country’s civil war.
It says the man tried to harm himself overnight.
The Immigration Department has confirmed there was a case of self-harm, but it says that does not alter the outcome of asylum seeker claims.