Refugee sues Commonwealth over legality of his detention

Mostafa “Moz” Azimitabar (ABC News)

A refugee locked up in two Melbourne hotels for more than 14 months has taken his case to the Federal Court, alleging the Commonwealth detained him unlawfully and seeking unspecified damages for his treatment. Source: The Age.

Mostafa “Moz” Azimitabar was brought to Australia on emergency medical grounds in November 2019, having spent more than six years detained on Manus Island and in Port Moresby.

Instead of being transferred for medical treatment, he was detained at the Mantra hotel in Preston, in Melbourne’s north, for 13 months before being transferred to the Park Hotel in Carlton for a further month.

During his time detained in Australia, Mr Azimitabar became one of the most outspoken of the refugees and asylum-seekers brought here under the short-lived medevac policy.

Under the medevac process introduced by Labor, the Greens and the crossbench – and strongly opposed by the Morrison government – hundreds of people were brought from Nauru and Papua New Guinea to Australia in 2019 for emergency medical treatment on the advice of doctors.

Months later, with the support of crossbench senator Jacqui Lambie, the Morrison Government repealed the legislation. Those brought to Australia under the short-lived arrangements spent months in limbo in onshore detention centres or in hotels turned detention centres.

Mr Azimitabar, a Kurdish Iranian, was released into the community on a bridging visa in January last year.

In a two-day hearing in the Federal Court beginning yesterday, Mr Azimitabar is challenging the legality of his hotel detention. The case could have implications for hundreds of fellow refugees and asylum-seekers similarly detained in makeshift detention centres around the country.


Refugee sues Commonwealth over legality of his detention (By Bianca Hall, The Age)


Commonwealth defends turning city hotels into detention centres (The Age)

This is the man taking the government to court over detaining refugees and asylum seekers in hotels (SBS News)

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