May 2010


Save the Sheikh Canberra Rally

Join us on Thursday June 3rd at 11.30am in Canberra.

Full details can be found at CanberraRally.com and you can download the poster with the details here.

Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal
Bishop Riah
“I am really shocked to hear what awaits Sheikh Dr. Mansour. This is rather absurd. Only during emergency times one hears about such actions. I
really hope that he be given the opportunity
to defend himself.”


Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal was the 13th Episcopal Bishop of Jerusalem (an episcopate covering Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon).  Riah is a world leader in human-rights activism and a staunch campaigner for peace in the Middle East.


Mairead Maguire
Mairead Maguire
“I would like to appeal to the Minister forImmigration, Mr. Chris Evans, and the Australian Government not to deport Sheikh Mansour Leghaei from Australia.

I understand that he and his family have lived
peacefully in Australia for 16 years and he is deeply respected by the Islamic Community which he serves as a Muslic Cleric.

Dr. Leghael is not only not a threat to Australian
National Security but indeed through his peaceful presence and work both within the muslim community and with other religious leaders and people, makes a great contribution to Australian society.

It is also important he is not deported as he has not been given a right to a fair hearing and his deportation would therefore be in breach of his human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to which Australia is a Party.”

Máiread Corrigan-Maguire was the co-founder of the Community of Peace People, an organization which attempts to encourage a peaceful resolution of the troubles in Northern Ireland. Along with co-founder, Betty Williams, she received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.


Dr Chandra Muzaffar
Dr Chandra Muzaffar
“The impending deportation of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei is a travesty of justice. There is no doubt at all that his human rights have been violated.

Since the Australian government often champions human rights, it should not hesitate to provide the Sheikh with all the opportunities to defend himself. If the government deports him, it will only be tranishing its own image internationally.”

Dr Chandra Muzaffar is a leading Malaysian Muslim political scientist, Islamic reformist and activist. He has written extensively on civilisational dialogue, human rights, Malaysian politics and international relations. Dr Muzaffar is President of the International Movement for a Just World


.
Hans Kochler

Professor Hans Kochler
“The International Progress Organization considers the deportation order as a serious violation of Australia’s obligations under international human rights treaties which it has ratified. There can be no fair hearing of the case if the authrotities refuse to disclose the allegations against Sheikh Mansour. We appeal to the government of Australia to revoke this decision.”


Hans Köchler
is a professor of philosophy at the
University of Innsbruck, Austria, and president of the International Progress Organization, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the United Nations


norman-finkelstein-150

Dr Norman Finkelstein

“The U.N. Human Rights Committee (not to be confused with the U.N. Human Rights Council) is composed of human rights experts from around the world. Its request that Sheikh Mansour not be deported until the HRC has investigated the case should be respected by the Australian government. Otherwise, it will appear that the government wants to dispose of Sheikh Mansour before light might be cast on the veracity of the allegations against him.”

Dr Norman Finkelstein is an American political scientist and author, whose primary fields of research are the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of the Holocaust.


Desmond Tutu

Bishop Desmond Tutu

“In South Africa we used to have detention without trial. In Australia you have deportation without trial!”


Bishop Desmond Tutu
was the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town in South African and one of the leading opponents of apartheid in the 1980’s. In 1984 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and he continues to be one of the world’s leading human-rights activists and peace campaigners.

is a professor of
philosophy at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and
president of the International
Progress Organization
, a non-governmental organization in
consultative status with the United Nations
Norman Finkelstein

Dr Norman Finkelstein

Labor Abandons Human Rights: Sheikh, Family Pay Terrible Price

Greens Candidate for Grayndler, Sam Byrne, has condemned the Rudd Labor Government’s decision to deport Sheikh Mansour Leghaei.

“After 16 years in Australia, the Sheikh and his family are paying a terrible personal price for the government’s cowardice in the lead up to the Federal election,” Sam Byrne said.

“Labor’s desperation to pander to racism has led to this decision, in defiance of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and any principles of natural justice.”

“Once again Labor is abandoning any principle. If they don’t stand for human rights, what do they stand for?”

“I call on the Government to reverse its decision, and at the very least release these secret old ASIO allegations against the Sheikh and give him a chance to respond.”

“Sheikh Leghaei has made a substantial contribution to multi-faith dialogue and our local community, and we will continue to support him.”

Sam Byrne

Sam Byrne

Contact Sam on 0408 231 509

Also from the Greens:

  1. Dale Mills writes in Green Left that the deportation of Sheikh Mansour is another instance of the Australian government silencing people it doesn’t agree with (click here).
  2. Senator Scott Ludlam of the Greens has advised that he will ask questions on notice in parliament to the Minister for Immigration and to ASIO about Australia’s failure to respond to the UN’s request to put a halt to Sheikh Mansour’s deporation.

Monday, May 17th – the Minister for Immigration, Mr Chris Evans, decided NOT to intervene in Sheikh Mansour’s deportation process, choosing rather to hide behind the ageing negative security assessment that goes back to 2004.

The Sheikh’s support team, when they announced their disappointment with the Minister’s decision, mentioned too that the United Nations Human Right Committe had already written to the Australian government, asking them NOT to deport Sheikh Mansour until they could take a good look at his case and assess whether his funamental human rights had been violated by the Australian government in the way they handled the case!

Thus far the Minister has shown no indication that he is considering complying with the UN’s request!

The following major newspapers took up the story:

The story was also picked up by the following TV media:

  • SBS 9.30pm news:

  • 10 News:

  • ABC News

Deportation of sheikh puts Australia at odds with the UN

Sydney, May 17: Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans’ decision to deport Sheikh Mansour Leghaei is in direct contravention of the UN’s wishes, who sent in a formal request to the Australian Government last month.

The United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva issued a request on April 21 asking the Australian Government not to deport Dr Leghaei and his accompanying dependants while it is considering his case.

Dr Leghaei’s legal team sent a petition to the UN Committee last month claiming the Government’s treatment of his case contravened the his human rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Australia is a party. Under the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, individuals in Australia may lodge complaints with the UN Committee if all domestic remedies have been exhausted.

Under Rule 92 of the UN Committee’s Rules of Procedure, a complainant may request urgent “interim measures” to prevent deportation where “irreparable harm” would occur if the deportation proceeded. Such measures remain in place until the complaint is finally determined, which usually takes about one year.

“Dr Leghaei was denied his human right to a procedurally fair hearing in the issue of an adverse security assessment by ASIO and in the decision to deport him which relied upon that assessment,” said Associate Professor Ben Saul, Co-Director of Sydney University’s Sydney Centre for International Law and one of the barristers who prepared the petition.

“Like numerous others who have been subject to adverse security assessments by ASIO, Dr Leghaei has never been told the basis of the allegations against him.

“Our strong case will have ramifications for others in Dr Leghaei’s situation both in Australia and internationally, where a person is unable to see or challenge any of the evidence against them.”

Dr Leghaei and his family, who have lived peacefully in Australia for 16 years, have never been granted permanent residency due to adverse security assessments issued against the Sheikh by ASIO several years ago.

In March Dr Leghaei appealed to the Minister to exercise his ministerial powers and allow him to remain in the country. On May 17 Senator Evans granted visas to Dr Leghaei’s wife and son but denied a visa to the Sheikh. He has been given six weeks to leave the country.

Australia is being accused of violating Articles 2, 13, 14, 23, 24 and 26 of the ICCPR .

His petition details that:

  • Dr Leghaei has been denied a fair hearing in ASIO’s issue of an adverse security assessment, in the Department of Immigration’s decision to rely upon that assessment to refuse him a visa, and in all proceedings before the Migration Review Tribunal and Federal Court of Australia;
  • He has been discriminated against because was denied procedural fairness because he was not an Australian citizen or permanent resident;
  • The deportation cannot be justified because, in the absence of proof he is a genuine threat to national security, it would split his family and deprive his 14 year old daughter, an Australian citizen, of both her parents.

Media Contacts
Helen Signy 0425 202 654 email
Ben Saul 02 9351 0354, email
Father Dave Smith 02 9569 1255, email

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