Update on Deportation of Sri Lankan asylum seeker (Mr X) currently being detained in Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre

18/07/2012

Since being detained yesterday, Tuesday 17 July by the department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Mr X continues to face roadblocks in accessing his family, legal team and support workers. SERCO staff at Maribyrnong IDC have repeatedly told Mr X that they are unable to fax vital documentation pertinent to his application for Ministerial Intervention to his legal team and support workers. Excuses given were that the multiple fax numbers he provided them were unavailable or not working.

Before fleeing to seek asylum in Australia, Mr X was detained incommunicado and tortured by Sri Lankan government forces in Sri Lanka. This history practically ensures that Mr X will be detained and tortured again by Sri Lankan police and/or government forces if he is deported back to Sri Lanka. As a result of this violence, Mr X has developed severe mental health issues and prior to being detained yesterday, was being treated by a psychologist in Melbourne.

While the UK has overturned deportation orders based on Sri Lanka’s history of detention and torture of those who have been returned to the country after failed asylum claims, Australia appears bent on handing torture survivors back to those who persecuted them in the first place. It is incumbent on DIAC to stop the deportation of Mr X based on Australia’s non-refoulement obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.