This is Yasmin and Ali. Their story is not a happy one, but one that must be heard.
Yasmin fled her home in Iran after being targeted by local government authorities for participating in a student rally demanding greater freedoms. In a brutal crackdown on the protesters, she was beaten and detained, interrogated and tortured for three weeks. “I just kept thinking I would die in there,” she recalls. “My family didn’t know where I was.” Yasmin knew she could never live safely in Iran again. So she did what most of us would do, she fled. Yasmin came to Australia looking for protection by sea. She had no choice.
Since 2013, the Australian Government has held Yasmin in limbo. Without the right to income and without any certainty on her future. Despite being pushed into the ironically titled ‘Fast Track’ process, she has endured five years of uncertainty.
Three weeks of torture in Iran, a dangerous journey by sea to escape, and five years waiting in limbo. But all that is not enough. Yasmin’s case has been rejected and she’s been given just 21 days to provide a written defence.
Yasmin is now facing deportation, permanent separation from her partner and a devastating choice: either leave her precious son behind, or take him with her to Iran to face certain persecution. “If I am deported I will be killed. What am I to do? What will I do with my son – leave him here?” The system is stacked against Yasmin.
The Government has had five years to determine if Yasmin warrants protection. But now they’ve given her just 21 days to write a defence – and she will not be given the opportunity to speak at a hearing in person. Without a strong legal defence, Yasmin’s written appeal will likely fail. The only way she will have access to justice is with the help of a good lawyer.
At the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, our Human Rights Law Program (HRLP) provides free, expert legal advice and representation. We give people like Yasmin the best possible chance against a system that’s set up for them to fail. Yasmin has endured enough and we believe she must be given the same rights to fairness, freedom and safety that we all expect.
Enough is enough. Join the fight for fairness by donating now.
*In order to protect the identity of the people we are seeking justice for, the names and personal details within the story have been changed.Leave a reply →