An asylum seeker who was to be deported on Sunday has been given a reprieve after a last-minute injunction was lodged with a Sydney court.
The 24-year-old Hazara man was set to fly back to Afghanistan after his claim for a visa was denied. But at a hearing in the Federal Magistrates Court on Saturday afternoon, the federal government agreed to back down on its move to deport him and await the outcome of a separate Federal Court decision due before July.
The Federal Court is considering what discretionary powers the Immigration Minister has to remove asylum seekers from Australia.
Lawyer Michaela Byers said the Immigration Department wanted to deport her client, Mr Ahmadi, before he had access to a review, which was set for April 17.
She said one possible reason to explain the government’s rush to deport her client was because of his conviction in a Darwin court in November for damaging property while in detention in the city.
Ms Byers said she had heard reports of at least 12 other Afghani asylum seekers who had been »rounded up» in Perth and Melbourne over the weekend to be deported.