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Asylum seeker children abandon legal fight and now face deportation

The Bakhtiyari asylum seeker children have abandoned their legal battle with the Federal Government, choosing life in the community under 24-hour guard over the "anxiety and uncertainty" of another trial.

The family has been supported by the Catholic social welfare agency, Centacare, who have provided a house, car and access to education through their long battle with the Federal government for the legal right to remain in Australia.

The Advertiser newspaper reports:

The decision brings an end to 18 cases across three courts and two review bodies spanning 2 1/2 years and costing more than $500,000 in taxpayer funds.

On Tuesday, lawyers for the five siblings filed a notice of discontinuance with the Federal Court registry, withdrawing allegations their detention in this country was indefinite and therefore illegal.

The move followed Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone's decision to allow the children's mother, Roqia, and her eight-month-old son, Mazhar, to live with the children in a Dulwich house. Alamdar, 15, Montazer, 14, Nagina, 12, Samina, 10, and Amina, 7, will continue to go to school and live in the community - albeit under the guard of the South Australian Government - until their inevitable deportation.

The children have exhausted all their legal avenues to remain in Australia, and will be removed unless their father, Ali, wins his pending High Court appeal.
Centacare director Dale West told the paper "the group would continue to provide a house, car and places at St Ignatius and St Aloysius colleges for the children."

Advertiser – Bakhtiyari children now await deportation
CathNews – Asylum seeker family's future still in limbo
Bakhtiyaris' future still in limbo (The Courier Mail 4/6/04)
Bakhtiaris stay locked up but may soon live with mum (Sydney Morning Herald/AAP 3/6/04)
Bakhtiari children to remain in home detention (ABC Radio PM 3/6/04)
Asylum seekers refused interim release from detention (ABC Radio The World Today 3/6/04)
Asylum seeker children in limbo (CathNews 14/5/04)
Churches back calls for release of abused detainee children (Insights 13/5/04)
Australia breaches children's human rights (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission 13/5/04)
No more children for Baxter, pleads SA (ABC West Coast SA 13/5/04)
Vanstone critical of Human Rights Commission report (ABC Radio PM 13/5/04)
HREOC denounces Govt policy of placing children in detention centres (ABC Radio AM 6/5/04)
Labor says Govt should rethink detention centre policy (ABC Radio AM 6/5/04)
Ruddock stands by detention of children policy (ABC Radio AM 6/5/04)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
Children's release from detention "unlawful" (CathNews 30/4/04)

24 Jun 2004