Centacare head points finger on Bakhtiyaris

Following a report indicating the Department of Immigration was wrong in its assessment that the deported Bakhtiyari family were not Afghans, the head of Adelaide's Centacare agency has said that objective scrutiny of the Department would uncover "dishonesty" and "lack of process".

CLICK HEREABC TV's Lateline reports that after almost five years and 20 appeals, the decision was made to deport the family at the end of last year. A newspaper report yesterday has provided evidence that has challenged the Department's reasons for the deportation, and refugee advocates are calling for the Bakhtiyari case to be reopened.

Dale West, a family friend and the head of the Catholic Welfare Agency Centacare in Adelaide, said he had spoken to staff from Senator Vanstone's office who admitted they knew Mrs Roqia Bakhtiyari was from Afghanistan. The Department had alleged that the family was Pakistani.

Mr West told Lateline: "If there was an objective scrutiny of the processes and procedures around this particular case, then I think we'd find that there has been dishonesty, there has been a lack of process."

The Age reports today that the Department has ruled out reopening the Bakhtiyari family case despite Afghan officials confirming that Mrs Bakhtiyari was an Afghan citizen.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock yesterday denied on ABC Radio that the decision to deport the family was flawed.

Govt urged to reopen Bakhtiyari case (ABC TV Lateline 28/9/05)
Immigration 'no' to reopening Bakhtiyari case (The Age 29/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Centacare Adelaide
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

Bakhtiyaris arrive back in Afghanistan (CathNews 20/1/05)
Bakhtiaris 'headed for Afghanistan' according to Centacare head (CathNews 5/1/05)
Bakhtiyaris deported to save face, says Centacare head (CathNews 4/1/05)
Fears for Bakhtiyaris' safety after deportation (CathNews 24/12/04)
Brigidine says Bakhtiyari family 'victims of cruel deed' (CathNews 23/12/04)
NZ refuses Bakhtiyari pleas (CathNews 21/12/04)
Headmaster blasts 'totalitarian' act on family (CathNews 21/12/04)
Students rally behind detained Bakhtiyari family (CathNews 20/12/04)
Headmaster optimistic over Bakhtiyari claims re-examination (CathNews 31/8/04)
Centacare director 'devastated' by Govt demands (CathNews 30/6/04)
Bishop's increased concern over Baxter situation (CathNews 13/12/04)

29 Sep 2005