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Aboriginal Ministry priest in appeal for Afghan detainee

The Church is appealing to Federal Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock to intervene in the case of 19 year old Afghan detainee Qadir Fedayee.

The young man is currently in a psychiatric hospital in Adelaide receiving treatment after his latest appeal for asylum was rejected.

Fr Tony Pearson from the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, who has extensive dealings with asylum seekers, said Mr Fedayee's case is one of the worst his seen. According to Fr Pearson, Fedayee attempted suicide on about six occasions, tried hanging himself and drinking shampoo.

"Qadir came to Australia filled with hope about safety and about a new life and he was detained for around twelve months in Woomera," Pearson told ABC Radio's AM program. "During that time he watched as many of his young friends given temporary protection visas, while he was left alone in the Woomera camp and during that time he became sicker and sicker.

Fr Pearson said medical authorities have decided Qadir suffers from a serious form of post-traumatic stress disorder that is suffered by many refugees from similar backgrounds. They state that his prognosis is not good unless he can be guaranteed what he senses to be a safe and friendly and warm environment.

Immigration Minister Ruddock was unavailable for comment, though his spokeswoman said while the minister has so far refused to intervene, he may consider another application to review the case. He addressed the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on Monday in Geneva, urging it to "focus on goals that will lead to sustainable, lasting solutions for all refugees, starting with those in greatest need".

ABC Radio 'AM'

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry
Philip Ruddock MP | Speech by Philip Ruddock to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Executive Committee Meeting, 30 September - 4 October 2002, Geneva, Switzerland
Church bodies give details of refugee initiative (23/8/02)
Nun admits role in Afghani children's consulate bid (22/7/02)

2 Oct 2002