Hamid Khazaei’s family to receive Aboriginal passport

Issue 
An Aboriginal passport presentation in 2012. Photo: Peter Boyle

After consultations with the family of Hamid Khazaei, who died on September 5 after being detained on Manus Island, an agreement has been made to give his family an Aboriginal passport, in his name, to honour both their son and their offer to donate his organs to Australian citizens.

The Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) organised the passport proposal. ISJA president Ray Jackson said: “This gesture by his family shames the Tony Abbott government, in particular immigration minister Scott Morrison, for incarcerating innocent asylum seekers seeking sanctuary in this country.

“The incarceration of asylum seekers must be seen as a venal attempt by the Australian government to continue the racist practices of the infamous ‘White Australia’ policy.”

Khazaei’s family wanted to know if his organs could be donated before agreeing to switch off his life support. Unfortunately, doctors said this was not possible due to his septicemia, which he contracted in the island camp from a cut foot.

But Jackson said the family’s generosity was genuine. “This gesture of generosity exemplifies that, regardless of skin colour or religion, we are indeed all the same. We are one race of people: the human race.”

ISJA said it was an honour to be allowed to commemorate Khazaei’s time in Australia with the passport, which is an expression of solidarity from the original owners to new arrivals in Australia.

“Despite the fact that he was forced to spend all his time in an offshore detention camp,” Jackson said, “[he was] sent there in our name and he still remains the responsibility of the Australian government and opposition.

“We are right in respecting his memory … it is just so ironic that Hamid fled Iran seeking life only to die in his country of choice caused by acts of parliamentary barbarity.”

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