Court hearing tomorrow to stop newborn being sent to Nauru

25 November 2013
An urgent request to stop the transfer of a newborn baby and his family to Nauru will again be put to a Brisbane court tomorrow, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers said today.

Maurice Blackburn Associate Murray Watt said the Federal Government had given an undertaking late on Friday not to remove the family until a further order from the court, with the matter to resume at the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court tomorrow morning.

"This family of asylum seekers from Burma has already been poorly treated, with limited access to visit their newborn son, Ferouz, while he remained in hospital," Mr Watt said.

"Now they face the risk of removal to Nauru, despite real concerns for their health.

"This is an important case, not just for baby Ferouz and his family, but also in highlighting the injustice of detaining children offshore.

"Nauru is no place for any newborn, and particularly not when there are significant health impacts to consider, as is the case with Ferouz and his family.

"This is a significant test case, for two reasons.

"Firstly, it concerns the rights of an asylum seeker to present independent medical advice about their health, before any decision is made to take them back to Nauru.

"Secondly, there is a real question whether the Government can take Ferouz to Nauru at all, given that he was born in Australia.

"While we welcome the Government's agreement not to transfer the family until a further order from the court, this family deserves the right to have these matters fully heard before any transfer to Nauru.

"We will continue to advocate strongly for this in court tomorrow - baby Ferouz and his family must be given that right before the Government makes any further decisions.

"Ferouz is still very weak - he is just two weeks old and continues to struggle with breastfeeding while his mother Latifar is recovering from a caesarean.

"They are in no state to be transferred to Nauru, where they will have limited access to the specialist care and support they have been receiving in Brisbane," he said.

Media Alert

What: A hearing for the case of baby Ferouz and his family at the Brisbane Federal Circuit Court.

When: 10am Queensland time, TOMORROW, Tuesday 26 November 2013.

Where: Federal Circuit Court, Harry Gibbs Commonwealth Law Courts Building, 119 North Quay Brisbane City.

Who: Maurice Blackburn Associate Murray Watt and Misha Coleman of the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce will be available for media outside the Brisbane Circuit Court following the court hearing.

Media inquiries: Jade Thompson at Maurice Blackburn on 0417 969 438.

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