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Democrats welcome release of Naqib Noori but renew calls for change to laws.



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DEMOCRATS MEDIA WEDNESDAY 11 JANUARY 2006

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS DEPUTY LEADER

DEMOCRATS WELCOME RELEASE OF NAQIB NOORI BUT RENEW CALLS FOR CHANGE TO LAWS

Australian Democrats' Immigration spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed news that Afghani refugee Mr Naqib Noori has finally been given a visa after six and a half years in detention, but warned that the flaws in our law and system which led to his wrongful incarceration still exist.

“This man was locked up for over 6 years as a direct result of being denied the opportunity to respond to anonymous, incorrect allegations about him. The same injustice could occur to others, including Australians, under the existing law.

Mr Noori is a former diplomat whose family arrived with him in 1999. While his wife and children were given visas at the time and have long ago become Australian citizens, this man has had to endure being locked away while his three children grow up, due to mistaken identity and false allegations.

"While I am very thankful to hear this good news, it is extremely regrettable that the Minister did not heed the many calls by me, and others, for Mr Noori to be allowed into the community to be with his family while clearances were being conducted over the last three and a half months.

"The decision by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) in October 2005 overturning previous wrong decisions and finding that Mr Noori was not disqualified from refugee status should have been the impetus for the Minister to show compassion and allow him to be with his family.

"It will take many years to undo the human, social, legal and administrative damage caused by the Government's unjust and inhumane immigration policies.

"Nice sounding reassurance about ‘culture change’ within the Migration Department simply will not be sufficient to overcome such deeply entrenched flaws. The Democrats repeat our calls for the abolition of indefinite mandatory detention and for a proper revamp of the Migration Act," concluded Senator Bartlett.

Media contact - Senator Andrew Bartlett - 0418 743 789