Hobart activists protested outside the office of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection today in solidarity with “Saeed” who is in imminent risk of deportation to danger. The activists seek assurance from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton that Saeed’s case will be urgently reviewed and that he will be granted protection.

“Saeed” (not his real name) is a 60 year-old Iraqi man, who came to Australia in 2012. He is from a religious minority in Iraq, and faces persecution if he is forced to return to the region.

Saeed’s brother arrived with him in the same boat, and made a successful asylum claim. Saeed was reportedly refused on an administrative technicality and the Government is now threatening him with deportation.

Saeed remains in a weak condition after being on a hunger strike for 3 weeks. He was sedated and force fed against his will in a suburban Melbourne hospital in preparation for a deportation reportedly planned for last week.

Saeed has already been taken by road from a detention centre in Melbourne to Villawood in Sydney 11 days ago in preparation for another deportation attempt. This is despite already being in a poor state of health. Activists in Melbourne witnessed the white van leave, with six Border Force guards and a doctor. They had previously prevented Saeed’s transfer to the airport.

Community members in Sydney are maintaining an around-the-clock watch at the gates of Villawood Immigration Detention Centre ready to alert the public should any attempt be made to transfer Saeed to the airport for deportation.

Saeed remains under threat of imminent deportation to danger of persecution and torture.

Saeed says, ‘Please do not deport me, I am a human being too’.

#FreeSaeed and #SaveSaeed solidarity events have been held throughout the country over the past two weeks and will continue until the government commits to stop deportations of vulnerable people to danger.

When: 11am, Monday 3 April
Where: 188 Collins St, Hobart

Lili Calitz, Gaye Demanuele