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Commission welcomes Govt change of heart on refugees

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."

Mr Arndt said the two 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 (pictured) 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.

Commission Rejoices Over Refugee Decision (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 22/3/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane | Support Site for Asylum Seekers | Tiger Eleven Refugee Soccer Club
Temporary Protection Visa Holders Applying for Further Protection (Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs)
Australian Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office - Submission to Family and Community Services Legislation Amendment (Special Benefit Activity Test) Bill 2002

Christian convert detainees may be allowed to stay (CathNew 21/3/05)

PM to free up to 100 asylum seekers (The Age 23/3/05)
Editorial: Undoing the refugee harm (The Australian 23/3/05)

23 Mar 2005