A Catholic asylum-seeker facing imminent deportation from Australia, which would separate her from her 18-month-old daughter, has been given a temporary reprieve. Source: The Guardian.
The United Nations now investigating Huyen Tran’s case. She sought asylum in Australia by boat with her brother in 2011, saying she faced religious persecution in Vietnam because she is Catholic, a religious minority there. Ms Tran was placed in community detention in Australia, but an assessment determined she was not entitled to protection. In 2015, after her friends in community detention were deported, Ms Tran grew fearful of the same fate and fled.
Before authorities found her and moved her to the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation detention centre in 2017, Ms Tran met and married her partner, Paul, and became pregnant. She gave birth to her daughter, Isabella, while in detention and they have remained there ever since. Ms Tran is not permitted to live in the community with Paul, who lives in Australia on a 457 working visa and is unable to sponsor his wife.
Her lawyers argue she has not been fairly assessed.
On November 4, Ms Tran was told she would be deported any time from November 25. She feared being immediately detained upon returning to Vietnam, making it too dangerous to take Isabella with her.
The notice prompted Ms Tran’s lawyer, Alison Battisson, to lodge a complaint with the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which confirmed it was investigating the case. Ms Battisson claims Ms Tran and Isabella have been subject to human rights breaches including their right to a private life and the right for a child not to be separated from family.
The committee responded by saying it had asked the Australian Government not to deport Tran while it considered her case. It also asked the Government to “take all necessary measures to prevent physical or psychological or irreparable harm to Ms Tran and [Isabella], having particular regard to [Isabella’s] needs as a child”. The committee said a copy of the request had been delivered to the Government.