The federal government has issued a threat of deportation for baby “Asha” and family in Australia, who were among the 267 asylum seekers to be shifted to Nauru detention centres.
A crowd has been protesting outside the Lady Cilento Children’s hospital in Brisbane since Friday to support the child under medical treatment to stay in Australia along with her family. She is still under the supervision of the medical practitioners in the country. She was born in Australia but has been denied citizenship. “She’s effectively in detention inside the hospital,” her family advocate Natasha Blucher said.
The lawyer, who is also an activist working with the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network, said that the guards of Immigration Department-contracted Serco stood outside the room where the baby has been admitted. “The guards told me the hospital has been designated as a place of detention under Australian law,” Blucher told CNN in a telephone conversation outside the hospital.
Baby ‘Asha’ has been recovering well from the wounds, but the doctors have refused to give her a discharge until she got a suitable homely environment to live in. Lawyer Daniel Webb said that the federal government has given a warning of staying in the nation for 72 hours before deportation following an emergency High Court proceeding filed by the Human Rights Law Centre on behalf of the baby’s family.
“We made repeated requests for the government to agree to at least provide reasonable notice if it planned to deport this child, but they refused. We were left with no choice but to file an urgent case in the High Court,” Webb said as quoted by SBS.
The federal government, however, has declared that the babies born before the amendment made to immigration laws are allowed to stay in Australia, whereas baby ‘Asha’, born in January 2015 and being the first new born after the amendment, has been asked to move to Nauru detention centres.