Brisbane’s Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is rejoicing over an Immigration Department decision to grant permanent protection to two young Afghan men.
Shorkat Ali Naseri and Hussain Ali Nadiri were both granted further temporary protection visas (TPVs) last year after their initial TPVs expired, but the Immigration Department recently overturned its original decision and granted both young men permanent protection.
The Commission’s Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, said that many Catholics and people of goodwill wrote letters of support for Shorkat and Hussain after the Commission launched a campaign to encourage the Department to change its original decision.
“Shorkat and Hussain endured three years of uncertainty when they were first granted TPVs and they faced a further long period of anguish while they waited for an appeal to be heard by the Federal Court,” Mr Arndt said.
“Their lawyers tell us that the support we obtained was very helpful in producing a change of mind in the Department.”
“At last, Shorkat and Hussain have justice and certainty.”
“They can start to plan their futures without any fear that they might be returned to the persecution and violence they experienced in Afghanistan.”
Shorkat and Hussain are members of the Tiger Eleven Refugee Soccer Club in Brisbane and many of their team mates already gained permanent protection with the support of the Commission, other organisations and many individual Christians.
“We could not understand why the Department had initially refused them permanent protection when their initial TPVs expired because they came from the same place and had very similar circumstances to team mates who were given permanent protection,” Mr Arndt said.
“We are very happy that they have justice at last.”
Mr Arndt said that the prolonged uncertainty which Government policy produced for many refugees was inhumane because it resulted in great anxiety and mental torment.
“Asylum seekers are our fellow human beings and they should not be subjected to the prolonged mental torment that so many face because of the Federal Government’s refugee policy.”
“We thank all those people who wrote letters of support and prayed for Shorkat and Hussain.”
“Because the Church is entrusted with the task of promoting and defending human dignity, we stand ready to give the same support to other refugees who face the same uncertainty and anguish.”
Released by the Brisbane Catholic Justice and Peace Commission