Government moves to deport refugee to Afghanistan


The Australian government is moving to deport a 27 year-old Afghan asylum seeker, Ismail Mirza Jan, from Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in western Sydney to Kabul, Afghanistan.

Mirza Jan is an ethnic Hazara who fled Afghanistan after his father was killed by the Taliban for his imputed association with the political group Hezbe-e-Wahdat. At his mother’s urging, he was assisted by people smugglers to escape Afghanistan and has spent the last 11 years trying to seek safety from any country that will provide him protection and a chance at life.

Arriving in Australia by plane in January 2010, Mirza Jan has been detained at Villawood for the past two years. During his time he has witnessed 3 suicides and the devastation of the riots that took place earlier this year. Now the government is set to forcibly return him to the very country he’s been running from for the past 11 years, deeming that it he faces no credible threat of harm.

He received a notice of removal last Friday and he has since been held in the Stage One (Blaxland), high security section of Villawood detention centre. The deportation is scheduled for Saturday 19 November.

The deportation would be the first forced deportation since the Australian and Afghan governments signed a controversial Memorandum of Understanding in January this year.

“Until now, the Afghan government has ruled out accepting forced deportations. We are hoping that the Afghan government will again rule out forced removals when they understand what the Australian government intends to do.

“This deportation would set a dangerous precedent for the deportation of other Hazara asylum seekers who have come to the end of possible legal process,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

In the first 6 months of 2011, the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose sharply, with a 15% rise in conflict-related civilian deaths compared to the same time in 2010.

In Sydney, the Refugee Action Coalition will be holding an emergency action at 12.30pm on November 18, outside the Immigration Department offices, Lee Street, Railway Square.


Australia has troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Therefore Australia has a commitment to providing asylum to people from Afghanistan who are fleeing the Taliban, especially if they already have had family members killed by them. The Hazaras are a group Australia and its allies are morally bound to support, not deport. MemKate,Sunshine Coast
Mirzajan should not be deported. He is a gentle and a kind person. People who are really abusing the system are getting away with what they want and the real genuine ones are the ones who are getting deported for no reason. Having worked at Villawood Detention Centre and having witnessed a lot of injustices, I can only say please do not send Mirzajan back.

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