Rohingya Stateless Refugee Asylum-seekers in Australia Face |Indefinite Detention

By James..

This is the untold brief story of Rohingya refugee asylum-seekers in mainland detention centre of Australia. Firstly, they did not talk as they think they are illegal human and limited their rights. I therefore very eager to express their situation.

They said,“we have had been well enough of detention. Better, to have a negative or positive outcome. We believe there is a place for us once Human Rights and Conventions have been introduced. Let us go to there. Please do not hinder from our liberty.”

The numbers of genuine Rohingya Burmese refugee arrivals in Australia is 42 persons for the year 2009 and about 100 persons for the year 2010. Arrival in 2009 are now in mainland and the rest are still in Christmas Island. The figure is about 1% of total arrivals by boats. But there is no doubt that their processes could be took more longer than the process of those total arrivals.

Unlike others, earlier group of 42 persons were landed in Australia-waters by four different boats through Indo-waters in between September to December. Most of them have UNHCR documents received in Malaysia and Indonesia, then had been well experienced in extortion, arrest, detention and deportation. They headed to Australia in order to avoid such cycle of circumstances. Some told their journey from Malaysia to Australia took one to three years as they been detained in Indonesia. Their asylum claimants also required to attain security clearances from transit countries of where they been. It means the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) to conduct their cases to attain the sources or recommendation provided by authority from such transit countries. Although this option is fall in legitimate way, it does not available in such un-signatory countries. So, how security agency assessed them is unclear and result to uncertainty. Otherwise, If such legitimate option is exercisable, why they are kept for.


Unequivocally, they delighted and felt very comfortable when they firstly kept in Christmas Island for processing of their asylum claimants before four months period of detention because they have no more fear then they can stay no matter how long. Hereafter, they frustrated and weaken mentally once they found that they are not treated equally in visa processing quota. Time by time, credible outcome is lacked for why they are pending and kept as an exemplary. They don’t have jealous but they start pointing out the other undocumented clients from different countries whom were granted in the respect of timely process properly done within 90 days and how some bogus clients granted visa very earlier than them.


On April 2010, they all 41 were transferred to mainland and the one left was early lifted to Perth Hospital for urgent treatment. Of them, 39 were kept in Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) of Darwin. On May 10, they sent an appreciation letter to the out going immigration minister because they thought the letters of exile based Rohingya communities was unworked. In the letter, they also explained about their situation and condition of family left behind. An inclination part of their claims had been informed by verbally that they were found to be refugee. As well as, it is being fear for they have to remain until security checks done. The worst is how long it could be took again when there is no such parameter for the process. For the other nationalities, they would be granted visa within 2 weeks of such inform.


Australia had already experienced with Rohingya cases especially on the first group of 8 persons arrival in 2006 August but paving similar path is in-accreditation and decimation for later arrival Rohingyas and family left behind. Australia has under taken to adhere refugee protection but the responsibility in determining by immigration is waging to delay bureaucratically. Relating to this, the Refugee Action Coalition Ian Rintoul said they have been waiting for months and months for security clearnesses, entirely unnecessary. (see at:


In this manner, their intolerant frustration made them to express their dis-satisfactions through various peaceful strikes. One of the forlorn event among the strike was that they hold 12 days over long Voluntary Starvation (VS) ended in June 25. It was highlighted in ( It is not surprised for us due to at least dozen of hunger strikes taking places in every month in every detention centre of Australia. But, our right to know is blocked by modern way of the so call privacy. More than more, they would be isolated into a separate compound where guarded by SERCO staffs. We don’t know the actual kind of treatment providing there and recovering or either how. It is also learnt that any immigration authority did not meet them during this VS and letting to fall down by themselves or waiting to stop voluntarily by themselves. It is only immigration’s back-warded policy dealings against the vulnerable asylum-seekers.


In favour of sympathy, The Christian Uniting Church raised about their plights to the out going Immigration Minister Chris Evans, covered on 2 July at

They had been visited by many concern quarters and approached by some individual welfare workers. These help them to send appeal letter to ASIO, Inspector General of Intelligence Organization (IGIO) and DIAC for intervention as their pending was told for only security clearnesses. Furthermore, the situation was also highlighted widely by Pamela Curr in a public forum in Melbourne led by Refugee Action Coalition group.


Longer than longer, their incurable distress reached to the peak and sprung -up their calls by various approaches including self-hurt attempts. Some said they did not believed the sorts of pending for security clearances as a few are well known in country of where they been. Why they can’t be escalated?

For the consequences of strikes and self harms, total 19 persons were slowly grated visa since end of moth June to December of 2010. However, this slow out come made them the hope for the rest 23 persons to be in stable condition.

On November, tensions were raised unfortunately for Mr Shoef-38 from the first Burmese boat was rejected for failing in security assessment. He claimed that his rejection under section (4), Australian Security Act 1979, was not related to him by any means, and they also found another ironic in both refugee process and security assessment which revealed something wrong in the processes and time taken for both processes is untrue. It shocked among them and deteriorate the situation and then questioned for why rejection too lately in 15 months detention and meaningless of Refugee Recognition. They also willing to see the outgoing immigration case managers who said them that the case would be strong longer than longer. Mr Shoef was lifted to Sydney and yet detaining in Villawood detention centre of Sydney.


The one, Mr. Majid-29 who do not happy in detention had attempted suicide by hanging on the tree on 9 Dec 2010. It was reported in ( / ). But, the reasons and sources in the first report were not given. He had also escaped to outside on 18 Sept 2010 and back after 2 days. It can be seen at( but the reason was not stated. Mr Majid explained, he escaped because he believed he will be sent to the court if he would be caught by police. He is unhappy for police sent him back to detention where he don’t want to spend any more thus he attempted self-hurt.


A fore stated patient, Mr Yusof who getting intensive treatment in Perth Hospital said that dying is better than waiting like now for security outcome. But, he did not explained about his malady or how.


On 10 Dec 2010, 2 persons have been transferred to Meribyrnong detention camp of Melbourne including one was Mr Eliyas-36 who attempted self-harm by head-banging twice to the wall on 29 Nov 2010, and the other 2 persons to Villawood detention centre of Sydney on 12 Dec 2010. When the situation is not quiet, immigration occasionally said that any striking behaviours would be delay the process but why not processing before this was not talked. Is not a punishment against their freedom of expression? Keeping them in unlawful detention mode for long-term and defining them as bad people when they spoke out in freed-mode. At the moment, the condition is seem to be dormant but their sufferings is unsustainable and even though they were separated as 4 persons in Villawood, 2 persons in Meribyrnong, and the rest 16 persons in NIDC of Darwin.

Mohd Nowbi-36, who is detaining in 14 months, had been set-fire himself in the room on 31 Jan 2011. Before alight, he locked the door and covered his body with piles of clothes and sheets. As a result of he can’t support for family left in Malaysia and his wife no longer waited then left his three children. The children are younger than 7 years old and living temporarily with his friend since four months ago. He reported his vulnerability to case manager and appeal finally to send him back to Malaysia. It is believed that no attention is paid to whomever no matter how vulnerable.


They handed over a letter to immigration minister when visited the centre on 2 Feb 2011. It was highlighted in ( In the letter, they pointed logically that ‘the time taken for security clearances is well enough to have a result compare to Refugee Assessment Process’. They asked, if their pending is only by ASIO, the department must regularize its exercises through intervention on ASIO’s delaying, transferring to community detention centre once their immigration matters solved and in placing with judiciary arrangement. If we do agree with the security agency’s responses, the questions would be how those some of them granted visa and where did their clearances get from. Unfortunately, we would find out the fact of discrimination or ironic in the procedures. Despite the both departments say their pending is based on certain concern of risk to security, there is no one Rohingya would harm Australian society in the future. It come to understand that ASIO just ignoring their plight while DIAC pay less attention.


In PM Howard era, 8 Rohingya men arrived in 2006 August were also kept about 18 months in similar way. After US made an agreement to transfer pending asylum-seekers to its country from Nauru Island in 2007, they were finally accepted in Australia. That shows Rohingyas do not risk to security but kept for indefinite policy achievement by pointing to security threat. A researcher Ms Susan Metcalfe has made a long report at (

It is considered as an exemplary form of modern hindering from their liberty. They also ask about how ASIO provided clearances and DIAC granted refugee status for those bogus clients. Two fake Rohingyas (not included in 42 persons) were granted visa, one was in 2010 November and another one was in this month. Their situation was highlighted recently in ABC news, (


In summary, they might not be desperated for coming to Australia and they are in need of humanitarian interference to get release out from the unlawful detention which powering against the country’s legislations. As well as, current detention system doesn’t respect ICCPR and Refugee Rights. The Australian communities should not allow to keep them in such legal limbo therefore I am very eager to call upon Australian communities to come together to cater our support towards their plights. Particularly, the government and human rights quarters must be involved to look into the matter because they are kept as the decision was made whether inform or not and this is modern deprivation and delaying from their liberty.


Rohingyas never a risk

source from:

YOUR article “Viking Tamil to challenge ASIO’s security threat ban” (21/4) says David Manne “in 2007 secured visas for eight Burmese Rohingya asylum-seekers who could not obtain security clearances”.

In fact the eight men represented by Manne were held in Nauru under the Pacific Solution, and there was never an issue with their security clearances – the previous government refused to allow them into Australia as part of its policy. When the Rudd government was elected the men were given permanent visas within a couple of weeks after an 18-month stint in Nauru. They are hard-working and respectful men.

One is now permanently disabled from an accident after his arrival in Australia. As an independent advocate, I sat for six months in hospitals with this man, and it is upsetting to see them cast in this light.

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