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Tuesday, 14 June 2005
Page: 193

Mr Laurie Ferguson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, in writing, on 9 March 2005:

Can the Minister confirm reports of an alleged beating by GSL guards of Mr Ghorban Ali Barzegar Toppeh at the Villawood detention centre, or any other detention centre, while he was in the custody of the Minister’s department.

Mr McGauran (Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs) —The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable member’s question:

I am aware of an allegation that Mr Ghorban Ali Barzegar Tappeh was assaulted at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC) during his removal from Australia.

A search undertaken of departmental databases has been unable to identify any incident reports relevant to the alleged assault committed against Mr Tappeh at either Villawood IDC or any other detention centre.

Further, the Department has been unable to find any record of a complaint lodged by Mr Tappeh alleging that he was assaulted at VIDC or any other detention centre.

An allegation from a third party was received by the Department in relation to an alleged assault on Mr Tappeh during his removal from Australia. This allegation was immediately acted on and the removal process of Mr Tappeh was reviewed. The outcome of the review was that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations. On the occasion of this alleged assault, both a senior departmental officer and officers from the New South Wales Police were present.