The last issue of Green Left Weekly published the story of gay asylum seeker Mohatar Hussein. Hussein fled homophobic persecution in Bangladesh to seek refugee status in Australia, only to be locked up in Villawood detention centre for the last two years. The Refugee Review Tribunal twice knocked back Hussein's applications, despite having ample evidence that he had suffered persecution as an openly gay man.
Hussein is now free. On October 12, the government granted him a Bridging E visa and released him from Villawood.
Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) and the Queer Youth Network have, for the last few weeks, been campaigning for Hussein's release, organising visits to Villawood and issuing media releases about his case. Only GLW printed Hussein's story.
CAAH will now push for full refugee rights for Hussein. Bridging E visas impose home detention, and prevent the visa holder from taking paid work and accessing Medicare. The visa also requires Hussein to report constantly to immigration department officials.
CAAH thanks GLW and all those who helped the campaign for Hussein's release. For more information about CAAH and its campaigns for freedom for all refugees, visit <http://www.caah.org.au>.