The desperate story of a Tamil refugee

Issue 

Tamil asylum seeker Mugeeb Rahuman Mohaideen is detained in Maribynong Detention Centre.

He came to Australia on November 7.

He told Green Left Weekly that he ran a clothes-making store in the war-torn Tamil Eelam province of Sri Lanka.

Mohaideen's customers included the Sri Lankan Army. He said the SLA took a large order in August 2009 and didn't pay. When Mohaideen asked for payment, they came for him.

He said two men in civilian clothes and six in military uniform made Mohaideen kneel at gunpoint while they stole $7000 — a fortune in Sri Lankan terms — and beat him.

When Mohaideen complained to local police, they locked him up for three nights. Friends paid $500 to have him released. While he was in jail, his stock was stolen.

A week later, he went to the army for payment and they told him to go to a higher official. Two people beat him when he returned home. They dumped him near the Berrie River in the middle of Colombo.

He was taken to hospital, where his severe injuries were tended for a week. Mohaideen then left Sri Lanka and took his family to India. He then came to Australia.

When he arrived alone at Melbourne airport, immigration officials said his passport was not valid and he had to return to Sri Lanka. There was a knife on a table in the interrogation room and Mohaideen grabbed it and slashed his arm repeatedly.

Seventeen stitches were needed in one arm.

Mohaideen said: “If I get sent back they will torture and kill me. The danger is so great; tell the government don’t send me back alive — send only my dead body.”

Mohaideen has applied for a protection visa and has a lawyer from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Mohaideen enjoys visitors and wants to be freed.

Comments

"Tamil Eelam" province? "Berrie River" in the middle of Colombo?? Moreover this guy isn't even a Tamil; he's a Moor (those are the people who were ethnically cleansed from the north and east of Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers). The author hasn't bothered to check even these basic facts so we can make up our own minds on how far she went to verify the rest of the tale. Some people will just swallow up any old scary story dished out to them I suppose.

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