CCJP accuses Federal Minister of "family smashing"
The Executive Officer of the CCJP in Melbourne, Marc Purcell, published a frank news release yesterday welcoming the release of asylum seeker Shayan Badraie's mother Zahraa and sister Shubnam from Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney. He then went on to strongly attack the Federal Minister over the continuing incarceration of the boy's father.
The text of the media release is as follows:
SHAYAN BADRAIE'S WELFARE STILL DAMAGED BY IMMIGRATION MINISTER -- CATHOLIC COMMISSION FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
SHAYAN BADRAIE'S WELFARE STILL DAMAGED BY IMMIGRATION MINISTER 17/01/02
The Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace (Melbourne) welcomed the release of Shayan Badraie's mother Zahraa and sister Shubnam from Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney. The Commission condemned the Immigration Minister for the ongoing detention of the children's father, Mohamed Zahid, and called for his immediate release.
Executive Officer, Marc Purcell said:
"The Minister for Immigration continues to play with the sanity of a six year old denying reunification with his father. Shayan Badraie has been severely traumatised by his prolonged stay in detention and the subsequent separation from his family. The foundation of family wellbeing is unity and the Minister has continued to deny this child's right to be with his both his parents."
"There are many asylum seekers and their families living freely in the Australian community who are not detained. Australian Red Cross assisted, 2691 asylum seekers living in the community in 2000-1 under Asylum Seeker Assistance scheme and there are hundreds of others who live in the community on bridging visas. This begs the question, if around 2500 people live out of detention without Australia being perceived as a soft touch, then why does one man - Mohammed Badrale - Shayan's father remain incarcerated? Why is the Minister's need to project an image of toughness rated more highly than the psychological welfare of a child to be untied with his family?" he said.
"The onus on the Minister to show why he his'family smashing'in this case. The best interests of this child are not being fully considered, the human rights of Shayan Badraie continued to be violated." he said.
For further information: Marc Purcell 0418 170 541