Islamic Human Rights Commission
13 August 2007
Action Alert: Sign Petition Calling for Reform of Australia\’s Migration Act
Dr Mohamed Haneef is an Indian doctor formerly resident in Australia who had his visa cancelled following his arrest in Brisbane on 2 July 2007 for alleged involvement in the failed terrorist attacks in the UK of June 2007. He was subjected to an intense campaign of demonisation by the Australian authorities and media. He was not charged while he was detained, but he still had his visa taken away, which suggested that he was believed to be guilty. He is currently residing in India while his visa status is reconsidered.
Several issues relating to his investigation lead us to question the reasons for his arrest.
Firstly, Dr Haneef possesses a clean past record and good employment history, confirmed by magistrate Jacqui Payne who granted him bail. Dr Haneef himself explicitly denies any involvement in any act of terrorism.
Secondly Dr Haneef had a valid explanation for his moves deemed \’suspicious\’ by the police. He was claimed to have been leaving for India without a return ticket on the day he was arrested. However, Dr Haneef had informed his employer about his leave as his wife had just given birth in India, and he later explained in his interview that he was going to arrange for a return ticket from India.
Thirdly, after his cousins had been arrested following the attacks, he tried contacting the British police several times in an attempt to cooperate in the investigation; however, he received no response.
Thus, considering the above-mentioned facts and other developments in this case we believe that Dr Haneef does not deserve to be under any kind of detention and that his visa should not have been cancelled.
We are also very concerned about the fact that the government ordered Dr Haneef to be re-arrested and to have his visa cancelled moments after he was granted bail. This shows that the government is \’misusing\’ its powers to overrule the judiciary especially in anti-terrorism cases.
This was all possible due to the inherent flaws in Australia\’s Migration Act 1958.
Please find below the link to a petition calling for a reform of the Act, which has served to be discriminatory against many migrants like Dr Haneef.
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\”And what reason have you that you should not fight in the way of Allah and of the weak among the men and the women and the children, (of) those who say: Our Lord! Cause us to go forth from this town, whose people are oppressors, and give us from Thee a guardian and give us from Thee a helper.\”
Holy Qur\’an: Chapter 4, Verse 75
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Islamic Human Rights Commission
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