January 20, 2015 | ABC News
An asylum seeker couple and their Brisbane-born son, Ferouz, have been released from detention in Darwin.
The Myuddin family, who have been detention for 14 months, have been involved in a long-running legal battle with the Federal Government arguing the boy deserved a protection visa as he was born in Australia.
Last month the Coalition announced Ferouz and 30 other babies, born to illegal maritime arrivals, would be allowed to apply for short-term visas while their families’ refugee claims were assessed.
Ferouz was born in Brisbane’s Mater Hospital in November 2013 after his mother, Latifar, was transferred from the detention centre on Nauru due to concerns about her pregnancy.
The family including his father and two siblings arrived on Christmas Island from Myanmar three months before Ferouz’s birth in September 2013.
They were fleeing persecution as minority Rohingyas in Myanmar.
Before the Immigration Department’s short-term visa announcement, lawyers for the family had tried unsuccessfully in the courts to challenge the department’s decision to deny him a protection visa.
The family’s lawyer Murray Watt said the family’s release from detention in Darwin was the next step in a long fight.
“These families are now released from detention and they will have the right to apply for a three-year refugee visa,” Mr Watt said.
“They’ll still have to go through the process. They’ll still have to show they genuinely fear persecution if they’re returned to their home country but at least they now have that opportunity.
“This is a really good step forward, that at last the Government have come to it’s senses and recognised, at least for these children, continuing to keep them in detention is not the proper thing to do.
“It does give these families the first step towards potentially staying in Australia on a more long-term basis.”
Mr Watt also said the Myuddins’ release was “a long time coming”.
“Ferouz has spent every night since leaving hospital living in detention and now finally, after more than a year he has been released, along with his parents and siblings, to join relatives living in Melbourne,” he said.
“For Ferouz’s parents in particular this is very special, they have never stopped fighting for a fair go for their children in seeking a better life and they are now finally able to start making that a reality.”