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Visit by Mr Louis Farrakhan



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Media Release The Hon. Philip Ruddock MR Parliament House, Canberra A C T 2600

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs_____ Telephone: (02) 6277 7860 Facsimile: (02) 6273 4144

MRS 20/98

VISIT BY MR LOUIS FARRAKHAN

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, said today that subject to Mr Louis Farrakhan meeting certain conditions, he was prepared to allow him and his party to visit Australia.

“These conditions are that he agrees to be counselled on the laws, values and nature of our tolerant and diverse multicultural society and gives an undertaking that he and his party understand these conditions and will respect and abide by them,” Mr Ruddock said.

“Senior Australian officials overseas will be asked to explain these conditions to Mr Farrakhan. Providing Mr Farrakhan understands and accepts these conditions they will be granted visas.”

The Minister noted that all applicants for visas to Australia must be assessed for good character.

He said that among other things, the Australian Government considers any criminal convictions and whether or not a person would vilify or incite discord in the Australian community or a segment of that community.

“I have carefully considered the applications by Mr Farrakhan and his group and note they have no criminal convictions and, as far as I am aware, there is no suggestion that his organisation is involved in terrorism or criminal activity,” Mr Ruddock said.

* The Minister said the Australian Government has in the past counselled people before granting visas and asked them to respect the laws, values and nature of Australia’s tolerant and diverse multicultural society.

11 February 1998

Brad Robinson 0419 278 715

Immigration information is also available on the Internet at www.immi.gov.au