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New Detention Bills Go To The Senate

Marion Lê Consultancy
ABN: 58 479 107 434
Advocate, Education and Ethnic Affairs Consultant
Indo-China and China Specialist

Thursday, 23 June 2005

- more bungling and bullying from the Immigration Department rip apart a young family and put at risk the life of an unborn child.

Majlinda Bitani and her four year old daughter, Gracey, are appealing directly to the Prime Minister to investigate their situation and their treatment as a family at the hands of the Adelaide Immigration Compliance Office and the Removals Section in Central Office, Canberra.

Mrs Marion Le, who is the family's Migration Agent, said today that the Department's bullying, bungling and unquestioning acceptance of anonymous "dob-ins" needed urgent exposure.

She renewed calls for a thorough investigation, if not a Royal Commission, into the Department of Immigration's Compliance and Detention Operations.

"The Bitani family have been placed under intolerable pressure for the past two years simply because they are stateless," Mrs Le said. "They are being treated as criminals and liars."

"I have constantly told the Department that in this case and another like it, they are making a dreadful mistake. They totally ignore rational, informed and factual information and knowingly mislead the Minister to whom they are responsible."

"Documents in my possession are evidence that the Minister is being given false information as fact and that innocent people are mindlessly defamed and ignored. As in the case of Cornelia Rau, the Minister is deliberately not being informed. This is why I am now assisting the Bitani family to appeal directly to the Prime Minister for his immediate intervention and investigation," said Mrs Le.

"Mrs Bitani's health is such that her unborn baby is at serious risk and the Department are culpable", concluded Mrs Le.

MEDIA STATEMENT - Thursday, 23 June 2005


My name is Majlinda Bitani. I was born Majlinda Saciri in Geraj, Preshevo Valley, South Serbia, on 28 October, 1976.

I am of ethnic Albanian heritage but my country of Nationality is the former Federation of Yugoslavia, now Serbia. I married Alban Bitani on 20 February, 1999 in Shoshaj, Preshevo. My husband and I fled our home a few months later at the time of the Kosovo War.

I am now Stateless, unable to return to Preshevo and unable to obtain a passport to allow me to go elsewhere.

My husband, Alban, was suddenly detained on 5 April this year and has been in detention ever since. I am 5 months pregnant and, by law, my daughter, Gracey, aged 4, and I face being taken into detention in the next few days.

Our nightmare has been caused by lies from anonymous people who claim that my husband and I are not telling the truth about our identities. The DIMIA call these liars "community dob-ins" and have accepted their lies without question.

One year ago I came to Parliament House to speak directly to Senator Vanstone's Chief of Staff, Mr John Nation, in order to establish the truth about our situation.

I was told that my file would be accessed and the Minister advised. Since then our lives have been destroyed and the life of my unborn baby is at risk. I have heard nothing directly from Senator Vanstone about my situation and I have since been seriously defamed and emotionally and mentally devastated by untrue allegations made against me and my husband.

I am so stressed that I have been told by the Doctor that my unborn baby is very small and not growing normally.

I am therefore appealing directly to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, to thoroughly investigate my treatment and the treatment of my husband at the hands of the Department of Immigration.

After five years in this country, we are stateless but the Department has recently decided we are liars as well. My husband has been detained in Baxter and we are accused of lying about our identities.

Using a photograph of myself and my daughter (accompanying) at a friend's birthday party in Adelaide, DIMIA officials have decided that this is proof positive that I am a person called ELIONA RESNJA (DOB 4 June, 1978).

The Department further alleges that my husband is a person called MARENGLEN GUGU (DOB 22 December, 1971). As "proof" the DIMIA placed on our file a photograph of a young boy (accompanying) which I do not recall ever having seen before.

I have only just seen these photographs which the Department released to my Migration Agent last week under the Freedom of Information Legislation.

These photographs and the false allegations from anonymous sources have been used to accuse my husband and myself of identity fraud; to throw my husband into immigration detention and to put the life of my unborn child in jeopardy. Moreover these false accusations have gone to at least two Government Ministers as fact.

My friend, Rajmonda, an Australian resident living in Adelaide, is outraged that a photograph of my daughter, myself and another friend celebrating her birthday could have been used to make a ridiculous and defamatory claim against me (see attached statement).

I am asking the Prime Minister to intervene directly in my case and establish the truth so that my husband can be released from detention and our names can be cleared before I too am thrown into Baxter Detention Centre.


© Scoop Media

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