Sawari’s flight to freedom could set legal precedent and see Australian government in the dock


On Holocaust Remembrance Day, US president Donald Trump signed an executive order banning refugees for four months and bringing in massive visa restrictions. On the other side of the world, in response, one young refugee took remarkable direct action to secure his freedom. Action that could see the Australian government prosecuted for multiple crimes.

To read more on Sawari’s escape to freedom, click here.


In September 2016 Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) sent letters to the foreign ministers of Canada, New Zealand, Germany (and the USA) to find homes for the refugees and asylum seekers held on Nauru and Manus. Two months later, a deal was announced between Australia and the USA and other countries to resettle all the refugees held on Nauru and Manus.

But since then, no refugees have been relocated. Indeed, there is some evidemce that the deal could have been a ruse.

Perhaps now is the time for lawyers and refugee organisations to once again directly intervene with those countries and seek a more viable solution.

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