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Aust.'s longest serving detainee X still in Limbo

Australia's longest serving detainee Mr X still in Limbo

Australia's longest serving detainee referred to in the Ombudsman's report as Mr X has been allowed to move into community detention but is still awaiting news of any permanent resolution to his plight.

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle who has visited Mr X in Glenside Psychiatric Hospital today called on the Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to resolve Mr X's case as soon as possible and end the mental anguish which he is suffering.

"The Ombudsman's report clearly indicated the compassionate grounds for Mr X being granted a visa to remain in Australia and these are still to be addressed," Senator Nettle said.

"As yet the Minister has only granted him a residency determination, which he is too sick to take advantage of. Mr X is likely to suffer serious mental health problems as long as he remains in immigration limbo.

"The health of this man has been seriously and permanently damaged by his time in immigration detention. The only compassionate response to this tragic situation is for the Minister to grant Mr X a permanent visa.

"The Greens hope that the announcement of this residency determination is simply the first step towards a permanent visa for Mr X, but question whether it is appropriate to notify him with via a short note that offers no indication for future resolution.

"Cultural change at the Department of Immigration must start with a more sensitive approach to communicating with mentally ill detainees, particularly when their mental health difficulties are directly related to their anxiety regarding their immigration status.

"Mr X is a test case for cultural change at the Department of
Immigration. For Mr X's sake and the sake of all other detainees we hope it is a test they will soon pass."

© Scoop Media

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