I’m posting this after having read statements from Kevin Andrews in the media saying, and I quote..
“The basis upon which Dr Haneef’s visa was cancelled remains vaild…”
“His lawyers indicated to my department … that he wanted to get out of Australia as soon as possible. If anything that rather heightens, rather than lessens, my suspicions.”
Really Mr Andrews? So you say you have suspicions. Upon what evidence do you base your suspicions? Why does so much of the global community not share your opinion?
If you are not in possession of concrete facts about Dr Haneef that indicate knowing involvement in criminal activity, what right do you have to use your status as a Governement Minister to continue to sully a mans character by insinuating that every act they commit is surrounded in intriegue and suspicion.
Lets for a minute assume that Dr Haneef is innocent. I, personally, am happy to do this but you evidently are not, so I’ll need to gently lead you in this direction for a moment.
Dr Haneef has
- Been arrested while trying to board a plane back to India to see his wife and new-born daughter
- Been charged with “recklessly providing resources to a terrorist organisation”.
- Been granted bail by a sensible magistrate that had the foresight to see that the evidence didn’t even begin to stack up.
- Had his visa revoked by ministerial intervention on the spurious charge of being of ‘suspicious’ character
- Been imprisoned in a Maximum Security Facility with no access to the media
- Has been denied natural justice in the manner of which his visa was revoked
- Had the case reviewed by the DPP
- Has finally had the charges dropped and has now been allowed to return to his country of origin.
Lets look at this for a moment through Dr Haneef’s eyes…
- I’m innocent. Why is this happening to me? What have I done?
- All of this simply becuase of a SIM card and a few instant messages over the last year? You can’t be serious?
- Surely this isn’t an election year?
Mr Andrews. If you have concrete evidence against Dr Haneef then put up. If you don’t then shut up. Its as simple as that. You have absolutely no right to continue to insinuate that Dr Haneef is suspicious in his actions for wanting to return home to be with his wife and family considering what he has been through and his present circumstances. I would do exactly the same thing in his shoes. Exactly the same thing. So. You going to revoke my citizenship? No? I didn’t think so.
Consequently, I have no confidence in your ability or desire to execute the duties of your office in an impartial manner. I therefore call on you to do the right thing by all of Australia and resign. Howard. Appoint a minister that is not going to lend out their office as an unofficial arm of the Attorney General and act in the interests of all visa holders. It is certainly not in the interests of the Australian people to live under an immigration system that can simply be subverted to satisfy the whim of government. I hold the rule of law and the spirit of the law precious. It’s what we rely on for a stable society.
Finally, lets also look at reviewing section 501 of the 1958 Migration Act. We need to ensure that future governements are not able to misuse the law to their own ends in this way again as so evidently has been the case here.