We welcome the granting of a permanent protection visa to Muhammad Faisal. Despite now being recognised as a refugee, 26-year-old Muhammad Faisal has been detained on Nauru for five years.
On 19 August 2005 the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) made an adverse security finding against Mohammad Faisal and his fellow detainee Mohammed Sagar. Both young men were denied entry to Australia on the basis of this security decision.
Neither of the men, nor their lawyer Mr Julian Burnside QC, were provided with information regarding the basis for these concerns. They had no access to evidence and could not challenge the findings. This status meant that it would be very unlikely that resettlement in another country would be granted.
Mohammad Faisal and Mohammed Sagar were the last Iraqis left on Nauru and they faced the prospect of indefinite detention on the remote island. By August 2006 Mohammad Faisal's mental health had suffered and he was transferred to a psychiatric facility in Brisbane where he has remained, leaving Sagar as the only detainee on Nauru.
In December 2006 a Scandanavian country agreed to resettle Mohammed Sagar.
On 31 January 2007 it was reported that Muhammad Faisal was granted a Permanent Protection Visa to remain lawfully in Australia. Reports state this was as a result of ASIO dropping their concerns over him.
"We certainly welcome Mr Faisal being granted permanent protection. The pain and suffering endured by Mr Faisal, a refugee, shows that the system is not working. Offshore, remote and indefinite detention needs to be abolished. Security checks are necessary but clearly the system has failed and has gravely affected an individual's life," says Dr Graham Thom, National Refugee Coordinator, Amnesty International Australia.