HUMAN RIGHTS FOR EACH PERSON REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, RELIGION OR POLITICS
Australia's National Shame:|
Peter Qasim's 2191 stolen days
Thursday 9th September 2004 will see a dismal anniversary marked across
Australia, with the passing of six years in detention for a 30-year-old
man from Indian Kashmir, Peter Qasim.
Australia's longest serving immigration detainee, Peter Qasim, says he is very happy
to be released after seven years in detention.
The Federal Government announced several weeks ago that Mr Qasim would
be released pending health and character checks.
He received a bridging visa after it was approved by the Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone last night.
Click Here for Complete Story
is admired by scores of detainees for the selfless assistance he's given
them in their own battles with paperwork and bureaucracy, and valued by
dozens of Australian friends for his extraordinary wit, intelligence and
resilience. But nobody can face life imprisonment for no reason. As Peter
once said, even Nelson Mandela in prison had the struggle for his
nation's freedom to give him strength, but his own suffering serves no
purpose for anyone. He is locked up, apparently forever, because of lost
paperwork in India, and a file full of minor errors and misunderstandings
"Living without the freedoms that ordinary people take for granted
is very difficult. The conditions of detention involve small humiliations
every day, and at times we are subject to great injustice, but the worst
thing is having no certainty about when my imprisonment will end. Even a
criminal knows the length of his sentence but I have no such
But, since the Full High Court of Australia last month
"approved" that 'stateless persons' such as Peter could
effectively be held in an Australian detention centre until they die,
Peter's situation is no longer in doubt: Australian politicians have
successfully crafted their own sovereign right and legislated that
sovereignty, to steal Peter's entire life, just because "he had the
audacity" to seek asylum here, which is his right under the
International Declaration of Human Rights. They have crafted this
legislation, just so Mr Howard can make the political point of 'being
strong on border protection'.
Protest actions and gatherings are scheduled for 9 September in Canberra,
Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.
See them on the Project
SafeCom website here.
Please consider joining one of these actions or create your own vigil,
action, protest or media event.
News & Websites
Peter Qasim Freed! - 'Happy' Qasim thanks supporters
Qasim thanks govt for freedom at last
After 7 years, Qasim can go free
Peter Qasim's 2191
stolen days (Project SafeCom) |
Egan's website page for Peter Qasim
Australians for Refugees
Online Petition -
"Free refugee in Australian Detention"
by Michael Organ MP in Parliament (includes letter from Peter Qasim)
to Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone
Project SafeCom is entirely funded the sales of 'useful items' through
its website, from donations, membership fees. The website includes around
300 pages with articles and background information about Australian
refugee issues. You can
support us by clicking here.
FREEDOM IS A RIGHT OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS IN A WORLD WHERE LIFE IS VALUED AND PEACE MAY FINALLY BE A POSSABILITY
Just in case you forgot - read the Universal declaration of Human Rights
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