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Monday, March 16, 2015

Shades of Catch-22 ?


In news just in, the Federal Court has dismissed an Iranian man's appeal against a decision to reject his bid for asylum because of discrepancies found in his claim. The 33-year-old had been on a hunger strike in Darwin's immigration detention centre since late last year after losing his application for a protection visa.

The court heard the man claimed he fled Iran in 2010 because he was under threat of an honour killing by militia members for having a sexual relationship with their unmarried sister, breaking sharia law. But the review found several discrepancies in the case, which it said added up to an implausible story and revoked his refugee status late last year. The man can either stay in indefinite detention in Australia or voluntarily return to Iran, since the country will not accept people forced to return.

The man's lawyer, Julian Burnside QC, applied for a judicial review of his revoked refugee status on four grounds, one of which was that the department made an error of law by not considering the applicant's claim he was at risk of persecution as a failed asylum seeker.

So here you have it: seek and be granted asylum in Australia because you broke sharia law by having sex out of wedlock or, if your asylum application fails, be granted asylum in Australia because you sought and failed to be granted asylum. What a brilliant circular argument!