Saturday, April 20, 2013

'Don't let me die over a fax error'

(Apr 20, 2013, (The Age National Times))--An errant fax could be the difference between life and death, Ethiopian asylum seeker Dereje Tessema says. Mr Tessema was a high-ranking government official in Ethiopia before defecting and moving to Melbourne in 2011, where he claimed asylum.

But he faces forcible deportation in as little as two weeks, after an administrative bungle meant his appeal to the Refugee Review Tribunal was not sent. Asked what would happen if he returned, Mr Tessema's voice shook: ''The minister has to listen. I will be tortured. I will be killed.''

Mr Tessema went to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre to get pro bono help with his case after the Department of Immigration determined he was not a refugee. A volunteer at the centre sent a fax of Mr Tessema's appeal application to the tribunal but misread the fax transmission report, which stated the line had been busy.  Read more from The Age National Times »

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