an update by Father Dave

It seems that the Australian Government has suddenly decided that they have more information about our deported friend, Sheikh Mansour Leghaei, that they wish to share – at least with the United Nations!

More than two years has elapsed since the deportation-with-trial of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei. Before the deportation took place, a complaint was lodged by Mansour and his family with the United Nation Human Right Committee (UNHRC), claiming that the Australian government had breached various international Human Right Conventions to which it was signatory in the way it had treated Mansour.

Various communications took at that time place between the UNHRC, the Australian government, and the legal representatives of Sheikh Mansour and his family. The case was then left with the UNHRC who informed us that it would take them 18 months to 2 years to return a decision.

With that time period now having almost fully elapsed, a ruling from the UNHRC may have been imminent except that on June 6th 2012, the Australian government wrote again to the UNHRC, claiming that it “will be lodging additional submissions in response to counsel’s comments.”

What is the Australian government up to? The correspondence gives no indication as to the nature of these ‘additional submissions’, nor does it offer any time-frame  within which it intends to lodge such submissions, nor does it provide any justification as to why such submissions should be accepted at this late stage.

It is possible that this fresh initiative on the part of the government is an indication that they are finally taking Sheikh Mansour’s case seriously. It seems far more likely to me though that this move is simply designed to stall the process and let the next government deal with the embarrassment pursuant to Australia’s flagrant violation of Sheikh Mansour’s fundamental human rights!

The legal team representing Sheikh Mansour have written to the UNHRC, objecting to the request for late submissions and asking that his case be given immediate consideration.