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Decisions on visas [David Irving and Gerry Adams]

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The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs S ' N o x j ' 9 (5

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600--------Telephone (06) 277 7860; Facsimile (06) 273 4144

MPS 74/96

Decisions on visas

Applications from Mr David Irving and Mr Gerry Adams for visas to visit Australia have been refused by the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock

In announcing these decisions, I would make the point that each application has been assessed individually on its own merits. I would note that all applicants for visas to Australia must be assessed for good character

David Irving

I refused Mr Irving's application on the grounds that he fails to meet the good character requirement in S. 501 of the Migration Act.

The particular aspects of Mr Irving's conduct - which I note are a matter of public record - of concern to me include:

□ in May 1992, Mr Irving was convicted in Germany under the German law of "defaming the memory of the dead"; □ in November 1992, Mr Irving was found to have lied on oath before a Canadian Immigration Adjudicator. Mr Irving was detained and deported from Canada; □ in November 1993, Mr Irving was expelled from Germany; □ in February 1994, Mr Irving was found to be in contempt of the UK High Court for failing to

comply with an order served on him. He was committed to prison for three months. In seeking to purge that contempt, the judge rejected Mr Irving's sworn evidence.

Taken together they reveal a consistent pattern of behaviour that led me to conclude that Mr Irving is not a person of good character.

I should also emphasise that my decision to refuse Mr Irving a visa has nothing to do with notions of "free speech". Mr Irving's views and writings are well known and remain readily available in Australia.

The Coalition is committed to the principle of freedom of speech. It is an integral part of our democratic and tolerant society. However, this cannot be used as a pretext to avoid the requirements of Australian migration law.

Let me make it very clear. Applicants with comparable criminal records are routinely refused by my Department, consistently with the law.

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Gerry Adams

Yesterday I wrote to Mr Adams to inform him of my decision to refuse his application.

I refused Mr Adams' application on the grounds that he also fails to meet the good character requirement in S.501 of the Migration Act. S.501 of the Migration Act provides that I may refuse an application on character grounds if, amongst other things, I am satisfied that the applicant is associated with an organisation which has been or is involved in criminal conduct.

Mr Adams continues to be intimately associated with the Provisional Irish Republican Army, known as the P.I.R.A. The P.I.R.A. is an organisation that continues to conduct criminal acts of terrorism and bombings. On this basis, I have refused Mr Adams' application.

8 November

Media contact: Steve Ingram - 0419 278 715

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