AHMED SHAHAB ALDOURY has no one left. His parents were killed in a bomb blast that levelled his Baghdad house when he was 15 and he has been on the run ever since.Two weeks ago, Ahmed, 19, was detained in Villawood Detention Centre after travelling through Syria, Malaysia, Indonesia and Christmas Island. He became one of 40 Iraqis who held a week-long hunger strike after their applications for asylum were rejected by the Immigration Department.In 2008, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, ruled that Ahmed was a genuine refugee, and he was granted legal refugee status in Jakarta. Now he is urging the Australian government to allow him to stay. ”If they send me back to Iraq, they send me dead,” he told The Sun-Herald last week.On the day his parents were killed, Ahmed was at a street market selling telephones. He had a promising career as a soccer player and was in the junior Iraqi international football side.”My friend called me and he said my home is bombed, my mother and my father inside. He said leave the area, go far from here, don’t tell anybody who you are,” he said.His parents, Sunni Muslims, lived in a region controlled by Shiite Muslims. He believes this is why their house was targeted.His uncle put him in contact with people smugglers and gave him cash to pay his way.”He said I cannot stay in Iraq. Everyone knows my name, everyone loves soccer so they understand my face,” Ahmed said.For the next few years, he travelled alone, spending all the money his uncle gave him to pay the men that helped smuggle him across the world. He said he would have preferred to arrive in Australia legally but, after waiting two years in Indonesia, he met many legal refugees who had been waiting more than nine years to be resettled in Australia.His lawyer, Mohamed Al Jabiri, said he did not know why his client’s application for asylum was rejected, especially since the UNHCR had supported his claim.”The department said to me they might send him back to Iraq, that Iraq is better now. That is insane, that is false,” Mr Al Jabiri said.Greens immigration spokeswoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said cases like Ahmed’s highlighted ”serious concerns about delays in the resettling of genuine refugees”.”We have asked the department for the numbers of people currently in immigration detention in Australia who have been assessed previously as genuine refugees by the UNHCR. They have refused to answer,” she said.”We know the experience of prolonged detention without certainty of resettlement is one of the leading reasons for people boarding boats from Indonesia.”A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said there were occasions when a person with a UNHCR certificate was not given asylum in Australia.”If the UNHCR has previously issued a certificate mandating the person to be a refugee, this will be taken into account in the decision … the existence of a UNHCR certificate will not necessarily mean that the person is owed protection obligations in Australia,” he said. ”For example, the circumstances that previously applied to the client may have changed or the client may be able to access protection elsewhere.”Ahmed’s application will be reassessed on May 15.
Nanjing Night Net