10 March 2016

Corangamite’s voice is heard loud and clear in Canberra

I am very pleased to confirm that the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, has agreed to review the case of asylum seeker Mohammad Rahmani from Afghanistan.

This followed representations I made to the Minister two weeks ago on behalf of hundreds of Corangamite residents who have rallied to support Mr Rahmani’s bid to stay in Australia.

30 year old Mr Rahmani arrived in Australia by boat in 2012.  He eventually settled in Geelong and joined St Bernard’s Church in Belmont which has backed his campaign for asylum, led by pastoral associate Len Monk.

I wish to acknowledge the strong advocacy of Len Monk and Peter Dunn along with parishioners from St Bernard’s and other local churches who have petitioned the Minister to intervene in Mr Rahmani’s case.

During my meeting with Minister Dutton, I raised community concerns that Mr Rahmani’s claim for asylum had not been properly assessed.  I also raised community concerns about evidence which showed Mr Rahmani would face capital punishment if he was returned to Afghanistan and further evidence that Mr Rahmani’s manager faced the same threats of persecution and death, and was subsequently granted asylum in Australia.

I wish to stress that I am not in a position to make any judgement as to the facts of this case or the merits of Mr Rahmani’s claim for protection as a refugee in accordance with Australian law.

Securing this review is a very significant outcome and demonstrates that Corangamite’s voice is being heard loud and clear by the Turnbull Government.

I am committed to advocating with care and compassion when cases such as this are brought to my attention.

I want to thank Minister Dutton for discussing Mr Rahmani’s circumstances with me and agreeing to review his case.

10 March 2016