| May 24, 2011

Refugee advocates and Syrian democracy supporters are attempting to get urgent legal action to prevent the removal of a former Syrian citizen to Syria.

The man, Ziad Awad, has been in Australia for 12 years, was married to an Australian citizen and is the father of six year old son. He has recently been active in Syrian democracy movement protests in Sydney.

“It beggars belief that the Australian government is deporting someone who has been actively supporting the democracy movement in Syria. The government is going to deliver a democracy movement activist into the hands of a regime that is guilty of killing of their own citizens,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Not only is the Minister recklessly playing with Ziad’s life, he is denying him natural justice. Ziad has a hearing in the Migration Review Tribunal to appeal against the cancellation of his bridging visa on Thursday, the day after he is to be deported to Syria.

“If ever there was a case of obscene haste this is it,” said Rintoul.

Syrian democracy activists in Australia say it is certain that Ziad will face beating, torture and possible death at the hands of the Assad regime. They will want to know the names and the activities of other Syrian nationals supporting democracy protests in Syria and Australia.

“We are calling on the Minister to urgently intervene to prevent this removal. Ziad is entitled to his day at the Tribunal. More importantly the Minister needs to recognize that Ziad is about to be deported to danger. The Immigration Minister is given enormous discretionary power to intervene in just circumstances. He need to use that power to intervene in this case.

“If the Minister refuses to intervene, we will be seeking an urgent Federal Court hearing to gain an injunction against Ziad’s deportation.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713 or Keysar Trad 0410 336 922

Category: Press releases

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