Detainees released from detention

Justice Emmett of the Federal Court of Australia today ordered the release of six immigration detainees on an interlocutory basis.

Ms Alexis Goodstone, a solicitor at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, who acts for the detainees, said;

“At this stage the detainees have only been released on an interim basis. Nevertheless they are extremely happy to be out of detention.”

“PIAC argued on behalf of the detainees, before Justice Emmett, that they were being indefinitely detained as they could not be removed from Australia. As a result the Minister for Immigration no longer had power to detain them. Justice Emmett decided that he must follow the Full Court of Australia’s recent decision in Minister of Immigration v Al Masri and release the detainees.”

“The Minister, however, opposed their release on the basis that there is new information, presumably as a consequence of the events in Iraq, that indicates that they will be deported in the foreseeable future.”

“Justice Emmett decided that he would hear the Minister’s new evidence at a future date but in the mean time released the detainees on condition that they report to the Department of Immigration.”

“The detainees, most of whom have been in detention for over four years, will be spending their first night out of detention with friends, relatives and community supporters.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169

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