Australian citizenship sought for asylum seeker baby Ferouz

13 December 2013
An application has been lodged to seek Australian citizenship for an asylum seeker baby born in Australia, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said today.

Maurice Blackburn Associate Murray Watt said that baby Ferouz and his family had suffered enough, going back to their separation, while Ferouz remained in hospital after his birth.

"Ferouz was born in Brisbane, he has a Queensland birth certificate, and there is no other country where he has a right to citizenship," Mr Watt said.

"Ferouz's family are from the persecuted Rohingya minority group in Myanmar, where the Government does not recognise them as citizens.

"Only last month, the Government of Myanmar rejected a United Nations resolution urging it to grant citizenship to the Rohingya.

"In these circumstances, the law is clear that baby Ferouz is entitled to Australian citizenship, and therefore to remain in Australia permanently.

"Indeed, five leading Australian experts on citizenship and human rights agree: see http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/the-law-and-the-little-boy/773/

"Baby Ferouz and his family remain in detention in Brisbane, with the threat of removal to Nauru hanging over their heads.

"The Australian Government cannot take my child, or any other Australian citizen, to Nauru, and they cannot take Ferouz.

"We firmly believe baby Ferouz is entitled to Australian citizenship and to stay in Australia.

"The Minister has the ability under the law to step in at any time to protect Ferouz and his family.

"The Minister should show some Christmas cheer and grant this family the right to stay in Australia," Mr Watt said.

Mr Watt said Ferouz's application for a protection visa, which was lodged last week, was still being considered by the Government.

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