Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Sharing exiles

A cross border echo. The third space relates an eerily familiar sounding story. Replace Omar's name and origin with any number of Australian Asylum seeker cases and voila - Australian local news.

Omar Deghayes was captured in Pakistan in 2002, and imprisoned in Guantanamo after a brief period at a British base. He was granted political asylum by the UK in the late 80s when his family fled Libya due to their political circumstances.

What’s exceptional about Omar’s case is that the British government uses his legal status as a political refugee—rather than a citizen or national—against him... read more.

"What’s exceptional about Omar’s case is that the British government uses his legal status as a political refugee —rather than a citizen or national— against him".

Sadly an un-exceptional political tactic all to commonly used in Australia these days. Australia's policy of detaining asylum seekers within it's own borders is shocking.

What's worse, where an Australian has citizenship but is later detained outside Australia, rather then protecting its own nationals Australian officialdom instead seeks to fabricate asylum status by removing passports and stepping up "surveillance" threats. Thus dodging it's responsibility to global human rights by creating a local "sub-citizen" class and tricking itself into believing it's humanitarian conscience begins and ends with a piece of paper rather then human flesh.

Case in point; Mambouh Habib, an Australian coffee shop owner detained October 2001 in Pakistan, sent to Egypt for interrogation and then to Guantanamo Bay before finally returning to Australia in late January 2005. On arrival in Sydney, the Australian government cancelled Mamdouh's passport and have threatened his every activity will be "monitored".

Mamdouh Habib lived in Australia for 20 years. He was detained in Pakistan while checking out private schools for his kids. His family were thinking about moving over there. He is a 46 year old Australian citizen.

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