The October 21st deadline has past and the Australian government has not responded to the United Nations Human Rights Committee regarding their treatment of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei.

Scott Ludlum of The Greens has questions pending in Parliament, calling on the government to account for its actions.  Meanwhile Associate Professor Ben Saul has addressed members of the legal fraternity on this issue and has published a paper that gives a comprehensive examination of the legal dimensions of the case, entitled “The Kafka-esque Case of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei: The Denial of the International Human Right to a Fair Hearing in National Security Assessments and Migration Proceedings in Australia”

You can pick up a PDF version of Ben Saul’s paper here.

Professor Ben Saul

Friday, September 10th, was the celebration of Eid, ending the month of Ramadan, and a large group of worshippers gathered at the Imam Hussein Islamic Centre in Earlwood.  With them once again was the familiar figure of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei, offering encouragement and spiritual guidance to the group.  But this time he was (sadly) not with them in body but was joining in via the miracle of Skype.

In point of fact this was not the first time that Sheikh Mansour has addressed the congregation at the Imam Hussein Centre since he was deported on June 27th, 2010.  Current technology does in fact make it entirely straightforward for Mansour to be able to teach and to interact with the Earlwoood congregation whenever they choose – and it’s all done from the comfort of his study in Esfahan.

Rick Fenely reports for the Sydney Morning Herald

Justice for Sheikh MansourWith the 2010 Australian Federal Election only days away, we seem to have a choice between a bad candidate and a worse candidate. You may be asking, “What’s the point of voting?”

Here’s a way in which you can make your vote count for something, regardless of who you vote for and regardless of which candidate wins. Write the words, “Justice for Sheikh Mansour” across the top of your ballot.

Writing on your ballot paper will NOT invalidate your vote unless you either write across the ballot boxes or add your name.  Avoid these mistakes and you can validly vote for whoever you like while still making a stand for justice.  The scrutineers will read your statement and report back.

Full instructions are on the campaign poster, which you see thumbnailed above-left.  Click here or the pic to open the full-size poster.  Then print off multiple copies and stick them up all over the place. Alternatively, if you’d like a smaller A5 flyer to give out to all your friends, you can grab it here.

Please get behind this campaign and make your vote count for something!

Sheikh Mansour might have left Australia but controversy remains, and the battle to see justice ultimately prevail is far from over.

This week an excellent article was published by Dr Michael Head – Associate Professor of Law at the University of Western Sydney – entitled, “Asylum seekers and ASIO’s abuse of power“. Dr Head sees Sheikh Mansour’s case as illustrative of the way in which our security organistion (ASIO) has become ‘legally unchallengeable’ – a situation that Professor Head describes as a ‘grave worry’.

Also in the news this week are two excellent articles from Press TV:

Yet the final word on the deportation must be given to Mansour’s family – both to his three sons who have been left behind, and to his faith community, who put together the second of these two videos:

To hear the wonderful Tripple J interview with Mansour’s son, Ali, given on the day of his dad’s deportation, click here.

For more articles and videos, I’d suggested checking out this section of the World News site that contains dozens of articles and images and about 50 videos on Sheikh Mansour’s case (many of which I had not seen before).

On Saturday June 26th we had a formal farewell at the Imam Husain Islamic Centre.  More than 1000 people crammed in – people of all faiths and cultures from across the region. On Sunday morning Mansour joined us at Holy Trinity Church to farewell his many supporters there.  That evening, despite Sheikh’s attempts to dissuade us from coming to the airport, more than 300 of us showed up to make our final farewells.

It was an emotional time.  Indeed, I find it hard to watch the video coverage below without the tears welling up again.

The story was also covered briefly on Ten News. You can see that here.

The fight does not end here. The Australian Government has until Ocotber 21st to respond to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and explain why they charged, judged and executed Sheikh Mansour without ever telling him what he’d done wrong.

If you have any ideas as to how we can put pressure on the Australian government to respond to the United Nations, submit them to the Fighting Fathers Forum (nb. you’ll need to use VIP code ‘NO HOMERS’ to register).

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