My refugee friend has cancer. He's been in detention for 9 years. PLEASE LET RAJAN BE FREE

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Our government has kept Rajan locked up in immigration detention for almost 10 years. Now he has been diagnosed with leukaemia. Please - let Rajan live in our community with the support of the many friends who care for him.

My name is Matt, and I am part of a community of volunteers who visit people held in the immigration detention centre in Melbourne’s north. That’s how I got to know Sivaguru, a 45 year old Tamil man. All of his friends call him “Rajan”.

The detention centre is a bleak, dispiriting place. There’s not a lot of hope on offer.

But Rajan’s warm, welcoming smile has become a highlight of every visit. His gentle, friendly nature make it hard to believe our government has kept this beautiful soul locked up for almost a decade.

Rajan sought safety in Australia nine years ago, after fleeing Sri Lanka’s brutal civil war. Soon after, our government recognised that he was a genuine refugee who feared for his safety.

But Rajan’s hopes were crushed by a secret security assessment, trapping him in detention without hope of release.

It took six years for Australia’s security agency to acknowledge that Rajan was not a threat to anyone.

By then, Australia’s immigration laws had changed. Immigration officials told him he had to prove his refugee status all over again.

Incredibly, Rajan’s refugee application was rejected. For the last nine months, he has been fighting to have the decision overturned.

Now he has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

I’m scared that our government will leave Rajan to get sicker and sicker in detention.

But I’m even more terrified by the thought that they could force him back to war-torn Sri Lanka, where Tamils still face arbitrary detention and torture.

I know that despite his brave smile, nine years of detention have left Rajan in a state of hopelessness and despair. It is now two years since the Commonwealth Ombudsman called for his case to be urgently referred to the Minister for Immigration on mental health grounds.

Please, Mr Morrison and Mr Coleman. I’m begging you to allow Rajan to live in our community, where his many friends can support him during this difficult time.

Summary in Tamil:
ராஜன் - ஒரு நல்ல நண்பர். 10 வருடங்களாகின்ற தடுப்புமுகாம் வாழ்க்கை துயரமானது. இப்போது அவருக்கு அவசர மருத்துவ உதவி தேவை. அவருக்கு நீதி வேண்டும். அவருக்கு விடுதலை வேண்டும்.