Churches plea: Do one thing for those in Australia's Guantanamo. (Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce)

23 June 2014

Locked up for over 5 years: This is Alaghun's Story

Alaghun is entering his 6th year of detention in Villawood – having committed no crime, without being charged, and without any prospects of release.

He is one of 40 asylum seekers who have had an adverse security assessment – which is a confidential assessment of what these young people MIGHT do if released. These assessments by ASIO are kept secret, and the basis of the adverse findings is never disclosed to the asylum seeker, their lawyers or anyone else. These people have begged to be allowed to move into community detention – they have offered to check in with police daily, or even wear security bracelets. Last year, a High Court case found that the regulation that provided for this indefinite detention of asylum seekers was unlawful, and therefore, the Government moved a Bill in May 2014 to “fix’ that problem. The bill effectively allows for these people to be locked up forever, and ensures that they will never ever be granted a permanent protection visa in Australia. In August 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Committee found that the detainees were being illegally held, without proof or judicial protection, in cruel, inhuman or degrading circumstances. It set a deadline of 18th February 2014 for the detainees’ release into Australia, on security conditions as appropriate. However, the Australian Government summarily ignored this deadline