Eighty asylum seekers have been released from indefinite detention after last week’s landmark High Court ruling which found they were being held unlawfully.
The mass release comes after a refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy was let out into the community after the High Court decision.
The key ruling immediately prompted the possible release of up to 92 non-citizens held in detention who could not be deported to their home countries.
The total includes those convicted of serious offences, failed character tests or were threats to national security
On Monday, immigration Minister Andrew Giles said 80 of those being detained had now been freed and given a visa, including a Malaysian hitman.
He insisted the Australian Federal Police and Border Force had been involved in the process of releasing those detained and future supervision to protect public safety.
The Australian government has opposed the court’s decision, he told ABC National, but said they had prepared to deal with the consequences.
Eighty asylum seekers have been released from indefinite detention after a refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy as freed by a High Court ruling that indefinite immigration detention is unlawful. High Court Chief Justice Stephen Gageler is pictured
The court ruled in favour of a Rohingyan paedophile known only as NZYQ who has been in detention since serving a prison sentence for child sexual abuse
The court found in favour of a Rohingya paedophile – known in proceedings only as NZYQ – who has been in detention since serving a prison sentence for child sexual abuse.
The Rohingya are a stateless Islamic people who reside in western Myanmar near the border with Bangladesh, where they are persecuted.
Because the Rohingya are not citizens of Myanmar – who consider them Bengalis and not a distinct ethnic group – NZYQ cannot be deported there.
NZYQ arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and had his bridging visa cancelled in 2015 when he pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a 10-year-old child.
He was transferred to an immigration detention centre in May 2018 after serving a minimum sentence of three years and four months and being denied a ‘safe haven enterprise’ visa.
Until the High Court ruling, NZYQ faced the prospect of remaining in immigration detention for the rest of his life.
He will now be released into the community and the Commonwealth will pay his legal costs.
In the wake of the decision, the government admitted 92 people were being held in similar circumstances, and up to 300 could be affected.
NZYQ was transferred to an immigration detention centre in May 2018 after serving a minimum sentence of three years and four months and being denied a visa. Villawood detention centre in western Sydney is pictured
More to follow