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Reopen cases of wrongly deported Afghani asylum seekers. As promised.
  • Petitioned Australian Government,

This petition was delivered to:

Department Of Immigration
Australian Government,
Prime Minister
Julia Gillard
Chris Bowen
Minister for Immigration
Shadow Minister for Immigration
Scott Morrison

Reopen cases of wrongly deported Afghani asylum seekers. As promised.

    1. Catherine Deveny
    2. Petition by

      Catherine Deveny

      Coburg, Australia

By signing and sharing this petition you will save people's lives. Thank you. 

"A few weeks after I was deported, my two daughters were killed. My daughters were killed so John Howard could win an election." 

Afghani refugee deported from Nauru. 

“One man I interviewed had recently survived a rocket being fired through his house. His wife and his father were killed instantly. He lives now in hiding in Kabul - along with his six children – all under the age of nine. The returnees are being actively targeted for having left the country, because they are seen as being favorable to the West.” 

Phil Glendenning, Director of Edmund Rice Centre.

"Phil, I want you to tell Australia that I have not given up hope."

Rizae (photographed above) deported from Nauru in 2001. Rizae is an Hazara - historically one of the most persecuted tribes in Afghanistan. He's also a member of the small pacifist Islamic sect, the Ismailias.

18 months ago the Department Of Immigration contacted Edmund Rice Centre, the highly respected human rights organization working in Afghanistan, and said ‘We know mistakes were made with some of the cases deported from Nauru. Give us your best 20 cases and we’ll reopen them.' Phil Glendenning, Director of Edmund Rice Centre, was thrilled. Not only did he give them 20 cases, he gave them 40. 

The Department of Immigration began to open the cases. Then when boat arrivals increased, the Department of Immigration, without warning, closed the cases. Shut. Despite the astonishing acknowledgment by the government that mistakes were made and they were prepared to make things right. 

This petition is simply asking the Australian government to reopen the cases they agreed to reopen after admitting they botched some of the cases. 

The Australian Government admits that mistakes were made with the decision to deport some Afghani asylum seekers back to Afghanistan from Nauru. The refugees sent back are now in more danger than when they left on their journey to Australia pleading for protection. The mostly Afghani asylum seekers were lied to, manipulated, coerced and in some cases given fake passports and one-way documents to dangerous countries. 

By the Australian Government. Our government. 

Edmund Rice Centre estimates that at least 20 of the refugees sent back to Afghanistan have been killed and 95% still live in extreme danger. They left their country, wives, children, family and friends behind and took the perilous journey to Australia in the hope of safety and a better life. These men did not come to Australia for ‘lifestyle’, they were seeking asylum because their lives were in danger. The Australian government betrayed them and let them down. Their lives are now in even more danger. Australia breached our duty of care, broke International law and did not honor our commitment to the UN Refugee Convention. And acted in a way that can be described as Unaustralian. 

The asylum seekers were told Afghanistan was safe (it wasn’t and still isn’t). They were promised money (which only some received and if they did it was lucky to be half what was promised). They were promised a house and assistance with employment. Didn't happen. The asylum seekers were told if they didn’t agree to deportation, they would be sent to an even worse detention centre (it was never explained where) and told they would never see their families again. 

"About 400 Afghans detained on Nauru were returned to Afghanistan after having their asylum claims rejected. They were told by Immigration officials it was safe to go home, and that if they refused, they would remain in detention forever", according to accounts given to Mr. Glendenning.

"Another 400 who refused to go voluntarily were eventually found to be refugees and were resettled in Australia or other countries including New Zealand." 

I am writing this while I am looking after my 9yo son who his home sick from school. When he asked me what I was doing, I explained the situation. His response? “But Mum, that’s racism. The government is supposed to be a role model.” 

He sat in silence for a while as I tapped away. Eventually he said, “If you ever meet those guys, tell them I support them.” He then went to the DVD player to put Star Wars on. As he turned the machine on he said, ‘Even the DVD player says ‘Welcome’.” 

I’ll leave the last words to Phil Glendenning, 

“Compassion for these people is currently seen by many as weakness. I see compassion for these people as our most civilizing strength.’ 

We can make up for some of the mistakes made. Please sign this petition and spread to your networks. 

Thank you so much. Peace be with you. 

For more info listen to Phil Glendenning talking to Phillip Adams on Late Night Live

Go to Edmund Rice Centre for all the details and stats.

Check out A Well-Founded Fear the moving documentary film follows ERC Director Phil Glendenning to find out what happened to the asylum seekers Australia rejected.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 2,000 signatures
    2. AMAZING NEWS!!!!

      Catherine Deveny
      Petition Organizer

      We have received a letter from Department Of Immigration. They've reacted quite negatively to our petition. As expected. BUT have agreed to look into the matter if we want to pursue it. Well yes, we do. And yes, we will. And yes, We are. Big thanks to all who signed and feel free to keep spreading the word and getting others to sign. We don't want the government to stack off. Phil from Edmund Rice Centre is thrilled to bits and he and I both want to thank you very, very much. Peace be with you.

    3. Reached 1,000 signatures
    4. MEDIA

      Catherine Deveny
      Petition Organizer

      Slowly, the media are starting to get interested. Big hitters too. Stay tuned.....

    5. Reached 750 signatures
    6. Donate, participate or advocate....

      Catherine Deveny
      Petition Organizer

      That's what Kon for Asylum Seekers Resource Centre says. So that's what I am doing. When you don't know what to do, do anything. That's what I say and that's what you're doing. Thanks, love and peace on full blast. Dev xxxx

    7. Thanks on full blast!

      Catherine Deveny
      Petition Organizer

      Almost 600 signatures! I'm running around the house with my tee-shirt over my head! I'm so thrilled by all this support. I would personally like to hug every single one of you. With this many people signing and if we keep up the pressure the government will have no other choice but to do a back flip on their backflip. It's a bipartisan problem. The Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments are all inveigled. It is deeply moving to see so many like minds, good souls and beautiful hearts. It is wonderful news for Rizae and the other Afghani guys but even better news for us. Our countries heartless treatment of refugees and asylum seekers has not contaminated us, has not worn us down. Despite politicians using the most vulnerable to appeal to the worst in people most of us are DVD players saying 'Welcome'. Can I ask you please to see if you can drum up a few more signatures, or at the very least raise some awareness, talk to people. You are helping. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you for caring.

    8. Reached 500 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Carmen Seaby ST LUCIA, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      I believe Australia could and should be doing more to help refugees. I am disgusted by the racist way Australian politicians talk about asylum seekers and treat asylum seekers. Asylum seekers should be housed in the community, not locked up in jails and sent to other countries.

      • about 2 years ago

      These people are not criminals-they are in desperate need of compassion,understanding and help from their fellow "human beings".

    • Hannah Cootes MUNCHEN, GERMANY
      • about 2 years ago

      Because I'm a human being and still like to believe in the goodness of humanity itself.

    • Angus Fanning VALENTINE, AUSTRALIA
      • about 2 years ago

      Because everyone deserves a fair trial...

      • about 2 years ago

      Because I am a human being.


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