Free Ned Kelly: Healthcare not Detention

Free Ned Kelly: Healthcare not Detention

5 February 2022
Petition to
Minister Alex Hawke and
Signatures: 14,464Next goal: 15,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Dawn Barrington

Our friend ‘Ned Kelly’ Emeralds has been in Australian detention for almost nine years while his refugee application status is being finalised. Four months ago he won a Federal court case which allowed him to either live in a house in Perth offered by friends who also offered to pay all expenses for him while he waited to be sent to Nauru.

The Federal court gave Home Affairs two weeks to action this. The judge stated, "The cause of prolonged detention of the applicant in detention centres in Australia is the (Department of Home Affairs) secretary's refusal or failure to perform the duty required. It is not through the fault of the applicant."

As Australia is slowly waking up to realise, this current LNP government has fashioned itself above the law. Karen Andrews, Minister for Home Affairs waited till the last moment possible and then declined to release him.
Ned states, “Karen Andrews waited two whole weeks before making the cruel decision to not follow the court order. She could have made the decision soon after the order was made but no she waited all the way to the last minute. We went through mediation, myself, lawyers, court staff, Hermann family whom I was going to stay with, but just to prove she can be a psychopath and outright cruel she made everyone wait, until I got all my property from Serco. I was taken to the front door and put in the waiting room and then I’m told it’s cancelled. Isn’t this an example of mental torture?”

The registered psychologist report submitted to the court argued for Ned’s release:

"In the IHMS Health Summary Report for the Commonwealth Ombudsman, dated 4 January 2019, it states that "the clinical picture reflects the detainee's health condition is being exacerbated by remaining in his current detention placement. This has been supported by the treating psychiatrist and the IHMS Area Medical Director".
 I am in agreement with this statement. It is not possible to conduct meaningful therapeutic work with Mr Emeralds in the context of held detention…

In my opinion, factors including an invalidating childhood environment, the socio-political context in Iran of which Mr Emeralds was a vocal opponent, and his reported experiences of trauma in Iran as well as  in  detention,  combined  with  his  prolonged  and  indefinite  immigration  detention  in Australia, have had a cumulative negative impact on Mr Emeralds’ mental health and his capacity to cope...

 Mr Emeralds’ presentation is consistent with what would be expected from an individual who has endured adverse childhood experiences and a history of trauma, who is living in a context of extreme stress, uncertainty, and having to navigate the complexities of the immigration system.

According to the information provided by Mr Emeralds during assessment and subsequent counselling sessions, as well as after reviewing relevant documents relating to his mental health, it is my opinion that he is presenting with symptoms consistent with the ICD-11 diagnosis of complex PTSD. It is likely that this is the result of the interaction between an invalidating environment, both in childhood as well as in his home country of Iran, and the cumulative effects of pre-arrival trauma and trauma in the context of prolonged, indefinite detention. Mr Emeralds’ mental state is maintained and exacerbated by the circumstances in which he currently finds himself…
I would strongly recommend that Mr Emeralds be placed in the least restrictive environment, ideally a community context, where he will have an enhanced sense of safety, access to long-term specialist mental health treatment, and increased social support.”

Ned has been having increasing physical and psychological problems since the Minister refused to follow the court order for his release. As with almost all detainees, Ned does not trust the doctors who are within the detention system, as they are profiting from the detention system. Ned therefore booked his own appointment with a GP in the local community and put in a request for approval and transport on 28/1/22 for an appointment on 2/2/22 which was denied by Australian Border Force.

On 6/2/22 Ned became critically ill and was admitted to hospital. This hospitalisation would not have happened if he had been allowed to see the GP.

Ned has developed close friendships with many people in the Australian community over his years of detention, drawn to intelligence, warmth and his open and authentic relating of his experiences. He changed his name via a statutory declaration to ‘Ned Kelly Emeralds’ showing his larrikin wit, something that Australians greatly appreciate. His friends are ready to receive him and support him in the community, as pledged in the Federal Court.

We request that the Royal Perth Hospital consider the severely adverse effects of returning Ned Kelly to detention after hospitalisation and to consider refusing to discharge him until agreement has been made to release Ned into the community or sent to Nauru. The medical and psychiatric evidence provided to the court documented the impact that further detention would have on Ned’s physical and mental health. Healthcare staff have a duty of care to their patients, and sending him back to a situation which they know is significantly detrimental to his well-being is circumspect.

Please sign this petition asking Karen Andrews, Home Affairs Minister, to release Ned Kelly Emeralds into the community or to Nauru as ordered by the Federal court.

Please also feel free to leave a message of support and solidarity with  Ned in the comments section of this petition. 

You can follow Ned's journey here: or join the Freedom for Ned facebook group



Thank you. 

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Signatures: 14,464Next goal: 15,000
Support now