Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rohingya: The Difficulties Faced By Refugees in Australia

Refugees face an uphill battle in the Australian immigration processing system. Very few have been absorbed and now many face indefinite incarceration because of their status.

Bobby Castro is the online editor at the Australia Forum, where he has published a number of articles about Australian news for immigrants and many other topics.

In its latest communique, the Australian government has recently announced that over fifty of the refugees currently incarcerated in the immigration detention centers throughout Australia have been informed that their chances of obtaining an Australian visa is nearly none to nil.

These fifty individuals have been tagged as security threats by the Australian Security Intelligence Organization. This goes against the very recognition obtained by these individuals from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees as falling within the definition of refugee status.
Because of this conflict and the ASIO’s assessment, these fifty individuals would face indefinite detention. One of these individuals is Harun Roshid. He is Burmese national seeking asylum in Australia. He has been incarcerated for over two years and was included in the ASIO tagged list as security threats.

He was tagged as a security threat because of his ethnicity as a member of the Rohingya people. After escaping the Burmese military regime, Roshid remained in Malaysia for nearly fifteen years before boarding a vessel for Australia. He had hoped that this travel would be able to secure the protection of his family who remained in Burma. He was apprehended in April 2010 and has remained in custody as Australian immigration authorities processed his application of refugee status. He is currently located at the Northern Immigration Detention Center in Darwin.

Of his experience, he felt like he was being punished. Last November 2011, the ASIO returned an “adverse assessment” of his case. This was the basis for the denial of his application for a protection visa. This has an effect of being a deportable individual from Australia and would be returned to his country of birth.

There is another complication to his case. Since he had already obtained refugee status, the Australian government cannot deport the individual. He is thus disallowed from ever leaving the detention center that has been his home for the past two years. His chances too of being resettled in another country have also been dashed after the adverse assessment upon him by the ASIO.

The current process of immigration processing has been under increasing fire from both cause-oriented groups and opposition parliamentarians. Many have called the process “arbitrary” and “high handed” leading to further exploitation and difficulty for the individual seeking asylum in the country. This together with the security issues in detention centers, especially after the escape of two detainees, it is essential that a full review be undertaken at the soonest possible time.

Source: here

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