Lawyers fight to stop Australian baby being put in Darwin detention

4 April 2014
Lawyers will today urgently seek to stop the Federal Government from forcibly transferring a Brisbane-born baby and his family to a detention centre in Darwin.

Lawyers will today urgently seek to stop the Federal Government from forcibly transferring a Brisbane-born baby and his family to a detention centre in Darwin.

Maurice Blackburn Associate Murray Watt said this was the latest instalment in the Government's appalling treatment of baby Ferouz and his family, who are asylum seekers from Myanmar (Burma).

"First, Ferouz was separated from his family, shortly after his birth, while he remained in hospital," Mr Watt said.

"Then the Government said Ferouz could not stay in Australia, saying he came to Australia by boat, despite the fact he was born in Brisbane's Mater Hospital.

"Then, late Wednesday, Ferouz's family were told they would be moved to detention in Darwin the very next morning.

"Fortunately, we secured a two day extension, but the Government still intends to move the family on Saturday morning.

"Today we are filing an application in the High Court seeking urgent orders to stop the Government from taking Ferouz and his family to detention in Darwin.

"The question we should ask is, 'Why is this baby in detention at all?'

"Ferouz was born in Brisbane, he has a Queensland birth certificate, and he is entitled to Australian citizenship.

"He shouldn't be in detention at all, let alone be moved around like a pawn in a sick game.

"For the Government to forcibly transfer Ferouz and his family now, after everything they have been through, is beneath contempt.

"Not only was Ferouz born in Brisbane; he and his family are now settled here in the local detention centre.

"Their doctors are based in Brisbane, as are their legal team, they have legal proceedings due to be heard in Brisbane this month - yet Minister Morrison wants to move them thousands of kilometres away, against their wishes.

"More than that, Ferouz is entitled to Australian citizenship.

"Ferouz and his family are human beings, like you and I, who have already been through more than anyone should have to endure.

"At any time, Minister Morrison can step in and do the right thing, by granting Ferouz and his family protection in Australia.

"However, if he won't back down, we will continue to take the fight up to him, and seek basic fairness from our courts.

"Unfortunately, the Department's latest actions do not appear to be isolated, with reports of other asylum seekers undertaking legal action also being removed from their legal teams.

"This is a very concerning development and deserves investigation.

"We hope that common sense will prevail in allowing Ferouz and his family to stay here in Brisbane - it's the right thing to do," he said

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