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Human Rights Overboard

This is the submission that Webdiarist Marilyn Shepherd made to the book Human Rights Overboard: Seeking Asylum in Australia, by Linda Briskman, Susie Latham, and Chris Goddard, which was launched in October this year. Thank you Marilyn,

Human Rights Overboard - Submission

Over the past five years a great deal has been written about the Bakhtiyari family with a great deal of it being false, sometimes made up and other times misguided without malice aforethought.

David Corlett has dispelled a good many of the myths perpetrated by DIMA with the help of the RRT members who dealt with their cases and Senator Linda Kirk has helped me tirelessly with questions to the senate estimates process and speeches calling for information and release of this family over many years. Penelope Debelle tried but was unsuccessful in publishing a good deal of the truth, the Age spiked the story, and Andra Jackson and Elizabeth Colman both tried extremely hard to have the truth told about Pakistani documents in the Age and the Australian.

Ultimately it was the honourable journalist, Paul McGeough, spurred by the Herald editor Alan Kennedy after reading Following them Home, who found the truth in Afghanistan, a truth which released the family from vilification and lies about their origins and birthright, truths the department had always known.

This story for the public record is the story of how a pregnant Roqia was treated by DIMA during that pregnancy and the theft of the baby boy’s identity and birthright by DIMA.

Roqia only had one court hearing and lost – it is s 134 of the High Court Act which denied her family reunion rights even though Ali had been in Sydney for 28 months as a proven Afghan refugee.

Roqia and Ali were reunited only in Baxter detention centre and Roqia almost immediately became pregnant after nearly four years of separation from Ali. From the beginning the pregnancy was troubled and she was sent to hospital at 11 weeks with a threatened miscarriage.

When she was five months pregnant, June 2003, she asked to be allowed to live in the Woomera housing with the children. Philip Ruddock ordered that this not be allowed because of the “high security risk” of some members of the family. He meant the boys Alamdar and Montezar who had escaped Woomera in June 2002 and Roqia who had escaped months earlier.

Eventually Roqia was allowed into the house but only with the three girls, the boys were considered too much of a flight risk and were “too old”. It was peddled in the family court hearings by Mr Charles Gunst QC that she was in the housing because Ali was beating her. The official DIMA record, given to the committee, shows that he had pleaded to get them out of Baxter and was pleased that at least some of the children were out of restrictive detention.

In June 2003 Roqia was then presented with a letter from DIMA with an offer of $10,000 to return to Afghanistan or nothing to “go home to Pakistan or wherever”, but she was not allowed to go with Ali who still had court proceedings on foot. She refused.

On July 25 2003 her brother Mazhar Ali, the young man who flew off the Woomera fence on Australia Day 2002, was dragged from his cell in Baxter at 1 am, with the boys Alamdar and Montezar as witnesses, handcuffed and forced onto a plane. It was believed he was imprisoned for 2 days at Bangkok airport because he had no real travel documents and was again arrested in Karachi for the same reason. When Jeremy Moore asked at DIMA why the ACM guards were not allowed to enter Pakistan he was given no answer – Senator Kirk has now been told by DIMA at estimates that the ACM guards travelled without visas.

Two days later Roqia collapsed in Baxter and was finally taken to Port Augusta hospital in premature labour. After consultation she was transferred to Adelaide to the Women’s and children’s hospital where she was diagnosed with diabetes and a fragile pregnancy. It was a huge task to allow her to stay in Adelaide rather than be sent back to Port Augusta but her doctors were sickened by her treatment and forcefully lobbied DIMA. As a result Roqia was under 24/7 guard at the Arkaba Motel for the rest of her pregnancy.

The five children were released from Baxter on 25 August 2003 by the Family court after a landmark decision in a case led by Jeremy Moore and Paul Boylan but still Roqia remained in the motel. The reasons given by Senator Vanstone later was that the children were not in detention and Roqia was.

Roqia tried to maintain contact with the children while they lived in a house two miles from the motel unit but DIMA and her ill health made this almost impossible. Records received under FOI after the family were deported show that DIMA would make the children’s visits impossible with arbitrary cancellations and the refusal to let Roqia make even phone calls.

At one point Roqia was not even allowed to ring Ali who was still in Baxter and his visits were more often than not cancelled. David Corlett has captured this phase perfectly during long interviews with the carers who also have submissions on the public record during the senate investigation into the Operation of the Migration Act, 2006.

Unknown to Roqia the department secretary had two meetings with the Pakistan embassy in Canberra about deporting her. The first was on August 20, 2003 stating that she had been “proved” to be a Pakistani citizen and visas were required for she and the children. The day before DIMA wrote a letter claiming that Roqia was in hospital with complications of her pregnancy.

The second was on 26 September 2003 stating that she was 32 weeks pregnant and ready for deportation if the embassy would supply visas. No evidence of any Pakistani identity have ever been presented. Indeed DIMA now state to the estimates committee that she was Pakistani only by marriage but was an Afghan citizen.

Mazhar Medhi Bakhtiyari was born on 15 October 2003 so DIMA were always well aware that she was 38 weeks pregnant and that they were legally not allowed to deport her.

The next year of the lives of this family have been well documented and thanks to Jack Smit at Safecom every article ever written is on the safecom.org.au website for public perusal.

What is not known is the use of false Pakistani documents and the so-called confirmation of the family as Pakistani citizens.

Bear in mind that Ali was arrested and incarcerated on 5 December 2002 after being cleared by ASIO as an Afghan citizen on 29 June 2000, and Australian’s were told he had been confirmed as a Pakistani.

The records received after the deportation show that the Pakistan embassy in Canberra confirmed someone named Asghar Ali, DOB 1971 as a Pakistani citizen based on a document in that name with a DOB 1957 and Ali’s visa and actual birthdate is 1961. A further document has the birthdate as 1959.

The RRT decisions supplied explain the discrepancies in the documents and I have supplied all the documents. Suffice to say they are not Ali, as identified by Mr Hassan Ghulam.

I met Roqia and Mazhar properly in the family court on 23 December 2003 when DIMA dragged us into the court to complain that the carers had been changed without notifying the department. What struck me was Roqia’s dignity and grace in the adverse situation she found herself. Mazhar was a fat and beautiful boy whom I later come to love like a grandson.

It was not until the children were returned to detention in April 2004 that it was felt Roqia was allowed to live with them and not until 8 June that they allowed the move. Things changed though, as David Corlett again explains, and life was truly difficult. To see Ali Roqia had to go to the motel with the children instead of Ali coming to the house. Guards were in the house at all times and none of the family could leave the yard even to go to the deli for a litre of milk or a breathe of air.

Roqia was eventually allowed to go to school for a few hours a week and learnt to read and write a little English, Ali was allowed at the house for Mazhar’s first birthday but we had to restrict the guest list to 20 in case we staged a mass abduction of the family. Those who attended were Father Greg O’Kelly from St Ignatius, Magistrate Kim Boxall and his wife and daughter, Dale West and Pauline Frick from Centacare and their children, Jeremy Moore and his wife and son, the carers and their children.

A truly subversive mob you would have to say.

Now to the deportation which was very public and filmed by Channel 7 after I demanded that they stay and see what the years of lies and vilification had wrought on an innocent family. Peter Caldicott had interviewed Roqia on 27 December and she pleaded to stay as she was in fear of her life, she was from Afghanistan and not Pakistan.

The Afghan embassy had confirmed that on 22 December as Paul McGeough learnt from the Afghan ambassador while he was reporting from Kabul, and early this year the department tabled the letter to the senate estimates committee. It is in the public eye on the senate estimates site and states clearly that they reiterated the statements of 22 December.

Shockingly they state that an “investigation” that Russell Skelton claimed to have made debunking the Afghan ambassadors statements was an utter lie. He made it up, as of course he had made up everything else he wrote as the RRT decisions tabled will show.

The family were forced onto a plane at 1 am on 30 December 2004 just 12 hours after it was confirmed that Roqia was pregnant. A new daughter Fatima was born on 7 August in Kabul after Roqia nearly died several times due to lack of medical care.

Three weeks later an FOI request from September was received by Jeremy Moore and given to me for reading. Among four reams of paper, much of it blank, I found baby Mazhar’s birth certificate. It states clearly that both parents are from Afghanistan and were married in Afghanistan.

The records, tabled to the committee, show that DIMA initially made a “Certificate of Identity” for the baby and sent it to the Pakistan embassy claiming he was a Pakistani citizen. This was ignored until the Friday before Jeremy went to the High Court in “Singh” to declare the baby stateless or Australian when DIMA again wrote to the Pakistan embassy.

This time they sent Mazhar’s birth certificate and bizarrely got a letter claiming that Mazhar Medhi, son of Asghar Ali Bakhtiyari, was a Pakistani citizen due to birth, even though there was no evidence anywhere suggesting that Ali was from Pakistan.

Early this year I received from Senator Kirk a copy of the travel documents for the family and was shocked even further to discover that DFAT had made them claiming that the family were all born in Quetta, including this baby boy.

Phoney Pakistani documents seem to have been used in about 20 cases by DIMA with all of them rejected by the RRT except those used against Ali.

In this case we have been presented with the information that DIMA received these documents on 2 December 2002, yet Ali had been presented with them on 30 August 2002 and Alan Ramsey in the Sydney Morning Herald had mentioned them on 3 August while Matthew Benns of the Herald Sun seems to have been aware of them on 26 July 2002.

Ali responded to those documents on several occasions denying the Asghar Ali person was him so it would be mystifying to most to discover that DIMA didn’t receive them until three months after his responses.

Except that the version on 2 December 2002 has a different translation to the others which were translated by a NAATI member in Melbourne and the education standards were omitted. I believe this was done because the department knew Ali was illiterate and this translation claimed he had matriculated. All versions of this have been given to the committee and Paul McGeough received the original from Pakistan and that has been given to the committee.

For this family there is no explanation for the cruelty. DIMA always knew that Ali was an Afghan refugee and we know now that on 22 March 2001 the circulated a memo stating clearly that Roqia and the children were from Afghanistan. It was revealed in s134 that they knew Ali was in Sydney but were under no obligation to tell her.

Their personal details were leaked to the media by DIMA, they were deemed to be terrible trouble makers yet the ACM reports show otherwise. They had their identities stolen and DIMA even manipulated a newborn baby's birth certificate to say he was from a different country.

They are the only Afghan family ever deported by force, they were the only Afghan children from 840 who made it to Australia who were ever deported and then to the wrong country.

The government spent $600,000 on court proceedings which all stemmed from DIMA’s own fraudulent use of Pakistani ID papers that had been obsolete since 2000 and kept an innocent woman in detention for four years without even being able to walk her baby alone or give birth without guards.

The detention costs were $750,000 alone for Roqia in the motel room and about $2 million for the children with Ali’s cost being about $250,000. The deportation was $250,000 and Vanstone reported that the bill would be $3.4 million if they wanted to come back to Australia.

Perhaps it can be summed up by question 114 on notice from November 2005 “we never denied that Mrs Bakhtiyari was from Afghanistan,”

Mazhar Ali was the young man who flew off the fence in January 2002 and features in the “unacceptable protest” photo with the arm wounds. He did this to bring attention to the fact that his sister and the children were in Woomera while Ali was in Sydney. It took over 100 stitches and to this day he cannot use his arm.

It has recently been revealed that DIMA used a set of Pakistani documents against him but didn’t tell him. He was out of process in November 2001 after being declared an Afghan but not a refugee. Strange that everyone in this family were really deemed to be Afghans by DIMA and ASIO yet they were sent to Pakistan.

The documents are on the Senate estimates website from the Budget session questions on notice. They are in the name of Nasser Ali with another one for his father. The problem here is that his father died in 2000, never came to Australia and was called Yusuf Ali while this “document” has been translated as being in the name of Teimoor Ali.

In Mazhar’s case they stole his ability to work because he cannot use the right arm, they ignored documents he collected proving his sister’s nationality as Afghan and sent him without legal documents to Karachi wher he was denied entry, had to pay bribes and was then tortured in Quetta and nearly killed in Afghanistan.

After the family were deported he walked for three days in the Afghan snow to reach them in Kabul.

For all those who want an explanation for this cruelty it seems to come down to a statement made by Philip Ruddock to the Los Angeles Times in April 2002 “if you come separately, you are not entitled to family reunion”.

The result is there for all the world to see.

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Amanda Vanstone

Was it  Amanda Vanstone who, as the minister responsible, laid a claim of some two million dollars on the Bakhtiyaris, should they return to Australia?

It was an unfortunate habit of mine, during Vanstone's time, to watch Question time in the Senate just to see her choice of  blouse.  One blouse  in particular stood out amongst all of the usual spots and stripes.  She may have been Minister for Employment & Industrial Relations at the time.

The blouse of  interest depicted a maze of chain links. It was amazing enough then, but then the GST Unchain my Heart publicity came around.

Did Amanda's blouse influence the course of history? Is there a book to be written?

Thank you Marilyn for your manifest and dogged advocacy throughout the nasty Howardly phase of our journey.

$3.4 million

Yeah those blouses. I had an altercation with the dreaded Amanda while trying to help a young single mum who had been locked up for years and whose son was tear gassed and battered by ACM over Easter 2002. DIMA actually apologised to her in writing after she made a complaint to HREOC. She was locked up for 2.5 years with her son, she was denied at DIMA and the RRT but the Federal court found that both had broken Australian law. After she won that case she heard Ruddock had appealed so she slashed her wrists in an attempt to get her son out of Woomera. Beautiful and brave lady took the bastards on and won. She and her son are now citizens.

Three days before Vanstone deported the Bakhtiyari family she did indeed get a letter from the Afghan embassy stating that the family were Afghan citizens and she ignored it.

ideolgical egotists

Fiona, my name is not Irish, it is Romany and male gender specific, it's origns have nothing to do with ireland, only my surname is Irish. My ancestry derives from Romany, Danish, English, Irish, Palawa and Koori in that order. Only one section of my family came as free people, all others were forced to undergo enslaved suppression and transported by the god ideology and its associated despotic offshoots and supporters, as were those already here who suffered a worse attempt at genocide in their own country by the ideologies you so fervently support.

The smoked salmon you refer to is Tasmanian black back salmon, caught by us and smoked by us. It is not the chemical, hormone, antibiotic and toxin filled Atlantic salmon product society consumes. The wine is local with no preservative or junk. Of course grapes are introduced, if you read my post with the right frame of mind, you'd see I was referring to crops and animals detrimental to the environment and huge water users. Like cotton, rice, cane sugar, intense broad acre farming, grazing and the diary industry.

It's the same with my stance on those who try to come here by deceptive means, all I have referred to is those types. I have no problems with those who come here through the right channels and undergo the necessary requirements for making this a better place by them being here and have never said so. This country is made up of many variants of human descent, I love the diversity of our ancestry, it helps understand who we are and why. The reason Aus, has a good reputation as the place to be, in the 1960's people here gave away the religious and philosophical ideologies controlling the planet and began to create a really free country. Sadly all the no brain ideologists took control of the public service, academia, political parties and big business, whilst every one else was having a good time after Vietnam. The ideologists thought they could talk everyone into accepting their control and could do what they wanted, letting anyone come here as long as they said they would be good and contributed to the elites wealth and power, but with no restrictions to keep the country free of the negative aspects of their delusions. So we were seen as a great country with rational and peaceful people, taking into account the unavoidable crime rates because of the nature of political direction, but easy prey for subversive take over.

The people closest to me, are all recent immigrants, they came here to get away from the lying and deceptive people of their countries ideology, bureaucracy, god and other debauched ideologies destroying the planet.

Fiona, I'm against those who deceitfully come here, don't try to make me out as other than what I am just because what I say conflicts with your negatively orientated delusional perception of the future. I love diversity and what all good immigrants have contributed to this country. But it's a historical fact, allow suppressive, dictatorial, violent and primitive cultural ideologies free reign and access to your country and you're stuffed. Unlike your personal attacking stance against me, my view is not personal, but verfiably factual.

Marilyn, the homeless players were invited here, there is no law preventing anyone from applying to stay who have come here legally and not deceptively, nor should there be. Whether they qualify or not is a different matter, we do have a growing homeless problem in Aus, which I would have thought should be the first priority, rather than creating more under the present environmental and economic future scenario.

I won't bother addressing the pathetic attempt at disguised insults by others unable to say something which makes sense, it goes with the state of intelligence they exhibit in how they live and the irresponsibility of it's consequences. With delusional ideological ego as your only aim, nothing else can be expected, but encroaching calamity and chaos, enjoy the ride

Alga, no-one has used deception

Now Alga, the courts say it is not people smuggling, the senate says it is not people smuggling. They stated back in February 2000 that no-one is hiding, they want to be found. Which part of that don't you get yet?

In determining appropriate sentences, I have kept very much in mind that the present offences are by no means in the most serious category of offences contrary to section 232A. In particular these are not cases of people smuggling where it is intended to introduce non-citizens into this country secretly and with all the dangers of illegal entrance carrying diseases, plant or animal life which proposes serious risk to Australia's primary production. There was no attempt here by the prisoners to hide from the authorities or disguise what they were doing. The offences, whilst serious are correctly described as people trafficking offences rather than people smuggling. Similarly, it is significant that none of the prisoners is an organiser, each played a small but vital role in bringing non-citizens here.

L&C 204 SENATE—Legislation Thursday, 10 February 2000

Senator McKIERNAN—I am talking particularly about the boat people. They are the people who arrive on our shores – mainly on Ashmore Islands – and who put their hands up and say, ‘Find me, find me! Take me in.’ They do not use these exact words, but they want to be found. These are not people who are escaping the scrutiny of our Coast Watch people.

Senator Vanstone—Senator, I cannot resist! Perhaps you could tell Mr Beazley that so he does not keep raving on about this silly idea that we need a Coast Guard to locate the people. You at least realise that they want to be found; it would be helpful if your party realised that as well.

Senator McKIERNAN—Minister, I was never a servant for any of our ministers when we were in government, and I am not going to be when I am in opposition. If you have a message for Mr Beazley, I am sure you have the form and means of directing that to him yourself. I do not want to engage in a battle of whether or not –

CHAIR—I am sure the minister does. I am sure we will hear it next week.

Mr Farmer—I would just like to make a general point in relation to the question you have raised. Occasionally we do have boats or boat people who arrive illegally but who do not actually have an intention to stay in Australia. This occurred, as I recall, last year in the case of, I think, a Chinese boat. The boat was unseaworthy. They had not been aiming for Australia, as I recall, but they did arrive here. So it is not necessarily the case that all want to apply here.

Senator McKIERNAN—It is not normally the case, but let me hazard a guess that it is 99 per cent of the case. In the case of the most recent arrivals from the Middle East – I am leaving the Chinese separate from this – they are coming here looking for protection.

Mr Farmer—The very great majority.

Senator McKIERNAN—I am not saying that it is going to apply 100 per cent, but the majority. For the past 8 years we have had this brutalising of people just because they come on boats, they are not boat people as we don’t call the 6 million other people who come to Australia “plane people” as if that is a descriptor of who they are.

The Australian has exposed a very important story of corruption this past week with Indonesian’s illegally selling documents to Afghan refugees and then locking them up at our expense in a centre we have built. As this statement in Senate estimates shows it is not smuggling as everyone knows all about them and people do not hide and try to sneak into the country. I know hundreds of the people referred to in this section of estimates and I am deeply offended about the language again being employed by the media because it still implies that the refugees are doing something wrong when they are not. It is interesting to note that while we pretend to chastise the so-called smugglers we only lock up the victims.

The book won a human rights award today

I wonder how McClelland could dare to stand up and claim we are back in the human rights arena in Australia when we are still kidnapping humans from the sea and locking them up out of sight and out of mind with no legal rights.

Richard:  Marylin, wonderful news!  What was the award?

Australian Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights awards

The book won the Literature Non-Fiction Award at the Australian Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Medals and Awards Ceremony in Sydney today.

Contempt shown toward people migrating to Australia

Alga Kavanagh: "... its about time invading people should be treated as the animal pests they are..."

There's no question. The contempt shown toward people migrating to Australia is pervasive and thinly veiled.

It's always just below the surface. For example, they hysteria beginning to well up in the media about the Indian doctor who contracted tuberculosis and may have, though probably didn't, pass on the infection to some neonates.

What's the doctor's national origin got to do with anything?

The story would rate a only few pars in a sidebar if it had been an Anglo-Australian doctor. Not screaming headlines and breathless reports on network media.

Hostility toward ethnic minorities from overseas is especially pronounced here. The demand they "go home" if they don't share "our values" for example...

Fiona: Eliot Ramsey, you know why the last part of your comment has been deleted. Please consider this as a yellow card.

The Fourth Estate

"It may sound disproportionate to suggest that I will continue to point out these obfuscations for as long as they are made, but I will, because to me, there is a strange fascination in tracking their true extent."

- Dr Ben Goldacre, Bad Science, Fourth Estate (pub), London 2008, 124

Heavens Eliot we agree

The real story is that the poor man probably got the TB in Australia as he didn't have it when he was cleared to come here and work.

Don't get too carried away, Marilyn

Don't get too carried away, Marilyn. You didn't see the deleted comment that got me the Yellow Card....


Alga Kavanagh, I am still intrigued by your statement: "... its about time invading people should be treated as the animal pests they are..."

Quite a good argument can be made for the proposition that all non-indigenous people who have entered Australia from 26 January 1788 onward are illegal immigrants. On another argument, they may well be regarded as invaders. On that basis, if one carries your position to its logical (?) conclusion, then all people currently in Australia who do not have any indigenous Australian ancestry should quit these shores quick smart. I hardly dare ask so personal a question, Alga, but which category do you fall into?

Or do you really mean that "invading people" should be killed controlled in the same way that animal pests are? Remembering, of course, that the definition of "invading people" may be wider than you like.

As for getting rid of sheep and cattle, and eating our native animals and plants, I’m right with you there (just love my mother’s kangaroo dishes). By the way, I do hope that the grilled smoked salmon and sauvignon blanc in which you were indulging last December could be described as “native [Australian] animals and plants”. Otherwise you just might be accused of failing to practise what you preach …

Keep going ...

Fiona Reynolds, you wrote:

 ... if one carries your position to its logical (?) conclusion, then all people currently in Australia who do not have any indigenous Australian ancestry should quit these shores quick smart.

Why not go further as those you refer to as indigenous came from elsewhere? So why not prepare a huge fleet of "B" arks and set the controls for the heart of the sun? Planet Earth might well be far better off without 6.5billion (mostly) pests. At least until evolution plays it big trick on it again. If the origin of humankind can be pinpointed, then there might be some exceptions.

Unfortunately  this cannot be done. However, in the meantime Marilyn does deserve better than the unfortunate digression introduced to the thread yesterday.


I am so sorry, Graeme Watson, that you did not appreciate the subtlety of my initial (and acknowledged off-topic) response to Alga Kaganagh's interesting statements. I trawled that in order to get the reply that did eventuate - which only further illustrated Mr (?) Kavanagh's deplorable attitude towards people less fortunate than himself. [If anybody is wondering why I am questioning Alga Kavanagh's gender, it's because Alga is an Irish name that can be given to both sexes.]

As I read Alga Kavanagh's various contributions on this and other threads, s/he seems to regard anybody who seeks to come to Australia lacking his/her non-ideologically programmed view of the world as worthless individuals, deserving the slaughter that (in AK's view) should be meted out to undesirable species. Personally, I find that view repugnant. Don't know about you, of course, Mr Watson. Do I have to spell out my modus operandi any further? 

I'll go with that ...

So subtlety it is then, Fiona. It had crossed my mind that a new thread might be warranted and on the day you did not seem reluctant to start threads, even in one case, for what appeared to me, a quite bizarre stated reason. Subtlety again, was it? Not to mention your subtlety in joining in a bit of idiocy on this thread. 

As to your "Don't know about you, Mr Watson.", clues can be found in my raising the matter of the digression and nods towards Marilyn. Yes, nods, plural, as one somehow got lost along the way. 

There is a simple solution

Graeme Watson: "Not to mention your subtlety in joining in a bit of idiocy on this thread."

You don't actually have to read a comment unless you want to do so.

As for a new thread, I'm still waiting for your article...

As for your lost nod, everything that you have submitted for publication on Webdiary since you joined three months ago has been published.



Alga thinks he/she is Mother Earth and all humans are pests. I could dig that.

But if the terms "invading" & "pests" are purely directed at refugees etc. then I suspect she/he may be regretting the comment as it exposes he/she as a Mother Hansen.

Not received?

Fiona, as to my thread, I sent you an email on the matter. Did you not receive it?

Fiona: Yes, but that was a week ago. I hope that you are feeling less distracted. Perhaps writing a thread starter might help.

Thanks Fiona

I guess Alga will have a fit when she sees that some of the homeless soccer players have decided to stay and seek asylum - they are Zimbabwean and Afghan.

And Frank Brennan has been employed to head a panel to work up a bill of rights.

You can bet mine will be brief.

Repeal Al Kateb and never pass such a law again.

Disruptive trouble makers

Marilyn, how many of these people are receiving welfare and how many are working and fitting in with our society and culture, or are maintaining their suppressive culture. Your link shows no corruption at all, what's wrong with using reasonable force to remove violent, disruptive, unwanted and uninvited trouble makers.

Putting it on a par with the Jewish situation is typical of those who try to use emotional blackmail to overthrow reality. Which is also typical of ideologists hell bent on creating what they delude to as a better world, when all along they just make it worse, as we see throughout history. If this country had let the Jewish refugees in here, we may have ended up like the USA and feeding the Zionist genocidal machine, I'm sure you'd love that. Open borders which you appear to advocate, are a recipe for Aus to end up like many parts of Europe by importing more and more of the troubles these religious cultures are awash with.

What is wrong with countries maintaining their individuality in culture and way of life. The religious countries these people come from will certainly kill you if you go and advocate they allow you to change their life style and cultural norms, by importing others from countries not into their superstitious suppressions. Surely the facts before us show allowing others who believe in bizarre destructive primitive myths and impose those myths upon others as violently as they can into our country, is not progress, but a death wish for our ways of life and the stability of our social structures.

Fiona: “This is slightly off-topic (my apologies, Marilyn), but what in your opinion should be done about the various feral species (e.g., cane toads, camels, rabbits ...) that afflict the Australian environment?”

I believe dingoes have been here for thousands of years. Along with those you advocate, Fiona, I'd include cows, sheep, and cats as they are of no benefit to us or the country long term .Our environment and wildlife would improve almost instantly without all those pests, plus the are environmentaly friendly. What's wrong with eating our native animals and foods, the meats from them are much better for human health and don't require huge amounts of chemicals to allow them to live here. It's the same for most of the imported crops which need massive water and chemical input for them to produce, there are much better alternatives.

Isn't it time we looked to the right of Australians to maintain a lifestyle created against all the ideological odds and not slowly flood the place with more insane religious ideoligcal nutters who breed like flies. There's enough here already

Alga, it is precisely the same

 In 1938 Australia and 21 other western nations gathered to address "the jewish refugee problem" and all voted against accepting them.   The holocaust was the result.

As a consequence the Palestinians were deprived of their own country and millions were made into refugees.    In 1948 (60 years ago tomorrow) the world wrote the Universal Declaration of Human rights whose article 14 says "everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries".

In 1951 the west, including Bob Menzies, wrote the refugee convention to allow a treaty with signatory nations to never again leave people in situ to be slaughtered and never again to send people back.

That is because of what happened to German jews.

As for whether or not refugees are on the dole - how do you feel about the 6,000 migrants being passed off as refugees by the authorities whose air fares we mugs pay, whose housing we provide and so on?

Those who are deemed to be refugees after they arrive here get stuff all and most of them work.


Marilyn Shepherd: "In 1938 Australia and 21 other western nations gathered to address "the jewish refugee problem" and all voted against accepting them.  The holocaust was the result."


"The archival materials shows that most of the Jews escaped before 1938."

Marilyn Shepherd, June 13, 2008

Those who did not escape

But those who didn't escape were killed because the west made them stay where they were.

Rudd treats asylum seekers "as prisoners" - Graeme Innes

Australia's human rights commissioner Graeme Innes is urging the Federal Government not to use the new immigration detention centre on Christmas Island.

"My message is not to treat asylum seekers as prisoners because they're not, and to not put them in a forbidding prison-like centre which the new centre is and keep them in the old facility," he said.

Off shore solution

At least now this sort of thing will stop happening:

On board the boat intercepted early yesterday were 44 suspected asylum seekers and three crew. They are expected to arrive at Christmas Island this morning where they will be detained and questioned.

That was today.

You'd never know it, would you?

Eliot, what is your point?

We are all capable of reading. Which is why we are writing to pollies to stop this bullshit.

The point?

Marilyn Shepherd: "We are all capable of reading. Which is why we are writing to pollies to stop this bullshit."

Well, actually, I thought electing Kevin Rudd was supposed to 'stop this bullshit'. Wasn't that the point?

Thanks Marilyn

This is what I enjoy most about Webdiary - thorough reportage with concise expression that I read with trust.

Years ago I watched Kerry O'Brien interview an "illegal" - a doctor from Iraq who fled Hussein's tyranny after being ordered to surgically remove the feet of an army deserter as punishment.  He didn't refuse, as that would have cost him and possibly his family their lives.  He immediately departed, with family, overland and oversea to eventually arrive in Australia where he was subject to departmental run around and all the usual sorts of psychological torture and humiliation that we serve up to these poor bastards.

All the while, through his account, I kept thinking what a superb human being he is, what a bloody hero, and wouldn't he make an excellent citizen in our land of the free.  After years of detention and struggle, I think I recall, he and his family were granted citizenship or residency.

The treatment of the Bakhtiyari family diminishes all Australians.  Those who think that it is a fair way to treat refugees, and I'm sure there are some, are so diminished in my eyes that I don't see them at all any more.

Jail lying politicians and officials

Yes Marylin they are still here and the country is the worse for it in many ways. The use of technicalities to circumvent laws is just a method for the legal profession to fill their pockets and do gooders to fluff their feathers and waste the countries resources. We need simple plain language laws people can understand, not ones orientated to support those who shouldn't be supported and fill the useless legal professions pockets. People who enter this country unlawfully, should have no access to the law except for protection from abuse, only a plane ticket back to their point of original departure, which they should pay for. Otherwise turn their boats around and send them away. Sounds terrible doesn't it, but its about time invading people should be treated as the animal pests they are, just like the self righteous treat animals they don't want, enslave or consume. Humans have lost the right to be classed as more privileged than animals, considering the rapidity of our destructive bent, who needs more ideological religious nut cases to increase the decline of of social stability and survivability, we already have enough as it is running and ruining the country.

Michael de Angelos jail them, irrelevant as to the situation of these people, officials don't have the right to lie and they do that too often. If senior bureaucrats andpoliticians were teated the same as others, the jails would be full of them. Politicians, rarely if ever tell the truth. The invaders lied their heads of, so why should they be believed at all, it's another good example of the veracity of those who follow the god delusion, no veracity or credibility, just ongoing trouble.

A question of control?

Alga Kavanagh: "... its about time invading people should be treated as the animal pests they are..."

This is slightly off-topic (my apologies, Marilyn), but what in your opinion should be done about the various feral species (e.g., cane toads, camels, rabbits ...) that afflict the Australian environment?

Feed them megafauna till it runs out

Or dingos, for that matter.

Plat du jour

You know some carnivorous wabbits, Eliot Wamsey? Now, that's weally scary.

Welease Wodderick

I think carnivorous wabbits are generally called rats.


Or....complete and utter dickheads, lacking in empathy and compassion.

 A vexatious conundrum indeed!

Alga, that is illegal

Alga, the refugees who came on the boats are not causing any problems anywhere in this country. They are decent and caring human beings so why do you want to scapegoat them?

Now in 1938 we turned away Jewish refugees because we "didn't have a racial problem" and we know what happened to them don't we? Well, the refugee convention was written to stop us ever doing that again to avoid that sort of genocide.


Now this is a great case of corruption in Australia - and all the officials got promoted for their trafficking of people out of Australia.

shame shame shame

mainly upon me for having so little involvement and thanks to the Marilyn Shepherds of the world who do more than their fair share.

Alga Kavanagh, your views about "illegal immigrants" are not unusual but what are your views on government officials, Ministers, politicians etc who have acted in the way Ms Shepherd describes?

No sympathy at all for illegal immigrants

On one hand I understand the suffering people like this seem to undergo whilst in a country I believe they paid someone to smuggle them to, and illegally entered, Australia. They tried to sneak in, couldn't prove who they were and had no papers. They undertook illegal and disruptive acts whilst their case was investigated, along with trying to bribe the country by harming themselves and demanding they be treated as they wanted to be.

What did they have to offer to this country, illiteracy, uncontrollable emotional, violent and harmful outbursts. A culture and religious belief system which is the opposite to what emotionally sane Australians want to see here as well as being a future economic and social burden.

I take the same attitude with anyone who tries or enters this country illegally, or tries to stay here illegally, no matter where they come from or who they are. You have to draw a line somewhere and that should be, if you come illegally to this country, then you don't stay. As it is they have to get through many other countries before getting here, most of those countries have lifestyles, cultures and religious life which are the same as theirs. Yet they want to bring that form of dogmatic suppression here, I see that as insane to allow.

People who undertake this course of action just can't be trusted and are a huge burden on an already overpopulated country, its sociology and economy. The sort of money mentioned here and the resources needed to keep these people under control until their lies can be sorted out, would be of much better use in stopping the psychological and physical torture of children under the noses of the totally incompetent DOC's and its associated Australia wide incompetent ilk. It appears to me priorities are all wrong, as usual

"Illegal immigrants"

Hey Alva, 98% of those people who you rant about are still here.

As Gummow J indicated in Al-Kateb at [86] ff, the current Migration Act, unlike its precursors, does not make it an offence for an unlawful non-citizen to enter or to be within Australia in contravention of, or in evasion of, the Act.

Further, as Hayne J observed in Al-Kateb at [207]-[208] the description of a person’s immigration status as "unlawful" serves as no more than a reference to a non-citizen not having a "valid permission to enter and remain in Australia". The use of the term "unlawful" does not as such refer to a breach of a law.

It only came to light in the case of Al Kateb that there is no offence.


I thank you for your engagement with this tragic and shameful  episode.

The smugglers "punishment"

80. ZILLMERE - 15/1/01

Alimin - 2 years

Adu - 21 mths

Silang - 15 mths

Roqia Bakhtiyari, Mahzar Ali, Alamdar, Montezar, Nagina, Samina and Amina- 4 years. 

This family were eventually deported to Pakistan without papers.  Just three days after Amanda Vanstone received confirmation they were from Pakistan.  They were sent without legal papers 18 months after DIMI knew that Mazhar Ali was illegally deported and arrested in Karachi- these papers were given to Senator Kirk.

If only

G'day Marilyn, what can I say? I support you and I admire the links and quotations which must surely shock our consciences.

I am ashamed of the behaviour of our government over the last decade as demostrated by the big picture. However, I do not have your expertise on these subjects nor do I have an informed opinion.

Just remember that there are people out here who agree with the principles of your, what I may call, a crusade to vitalise our consciences - if we have any.

I believe that I understand the survival feelings of modern societies - and I believe that charity is for those who can afford it.

As long as deregulated capitalism is paramount in our world economies, the Hitler principle of relieving society of the unproductive will always be there for any profit based society.

Simply put, Marilyn, the earth apparently evolved by survival of the fittest and civilisation has not changed that deregulated attitude except to call it free trade.

Devil take the hindmost.

There is no civilisation where there is no regulation - just chaos!


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