UPDATE (AUSTRALIA): Stephen Khan was released after five years of immigration detention 


Urgent Appeal Case: UP-30-2003
ISSUES: Refugees, IDPs & Asylum seekers,

Dear Friends

We are pleased to be able to give you good news that Mr. Stephen Khan, a Kashmiri asylum seeker, was released on 6 August 2003 after five years of immigration detention.

Federal court judge Malcolm Lee agreed to place an interim injunction against immigration Minister Philip Ruddock enabling 28 year-old Stephen Khan to be released until a Federal Court hearing into whether his indefinite detention is lawful. The hearing could be six to eight months away.

Mr. Khan was arrested and tortured by the Indian government before fleeing the disputed territory in 1998. He had been in detention in Australia since 9 September 1998 after failing an asylum claim. (To see the full story of the case of Mr. Stephen Khan, please visit the previous AHRC urgent appeals: UA-09-2002: AUSTRALIA: ‘Last resort’ for asylum seeker Stephen Khan, UP-19-2002: AUSTRALIA: No response from Minister on asylum case)

However, the Federal Court released Mr. Stephen Khan on certain conditions and there still exists the possibility of his deportation to India. The conditions include that he has to reside at certain place and shall not live elsewhere; he has to report in person two times and by telephone three times each week to the office of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) and he has to leave if the Australian government orders him to leave.

Mr. Khan’s lawyer, John Cameron, has foreshadowed a constitutional challenge, arguing that the government has been illegally using Mr. Khan’s detention as a deterrent and a punishment.

The AHRC requests you to write letter to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to pressure DIMIA to desist in its actions against Stephen Khan. In addition, your action is needed to change the policy of the Australian government against asylum seekers.

Suggestion Action

Please send a letter to:

1. Philip Ruddock, MP
Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
Suite MF 40
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
TEL: +61 2 6277 7860
FAX: +61 2 6273 4144
EMAIL: minister@immi.gov.au
SALUTATION: Dear Minister


1. John Howard MP
Prime Minister
House of Representatives
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
TEL: +61 2 6277 7700
FAX: +61 2 6273 4100
SALUTATION: Dear Prime Minister
Also you can send an email via his home page: http://www.pm.gov.au/youreedback/feedback.htm

2. Prof. Dr. Ruud Lubbers
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
C.P. 2500
Geneva 2,
TEL: +41 22 739 8111
SALUTATION: Dear High Commissioner


To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Dear Minister

I'm very pleased to know that Mr. Stephen Khan, a Kashmiri asylum seeker, was released by the decision of the Federal Court on 6 August 2003 after five years of detention by your department. I urge you to desist in your legal action against Mr Khan, and now permit him to reside peacefully in Australia, as was his original intention.

I also hope you will reconsider your policies on mandatory detention and asylum, and reconsider the cases of all other detainees in Australian detention centres demonstrating evidence of legitimate claims like Mr Khan.

Sincerely yours,


Thank you.

Urgent Appeals Programme
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)

Document Type : Urgent Appeal Update
Document ID : UP-30-2003
Countries :
Issues : Refugees, IDPs & Asylum seekers,