A meeting of over 30 people, representing a coalition of unions, religious groups, refugee groups, ethnic communities and more, met on Jan 20 and have announced they will hold a major rally and march for refugee rights, on Palm Sunday this year – 2pm, April 13, State Library – more details soon. With Abbott and Morrison’s war on refugees increasing, family re-union and asylum claims virtually frozen, tow backs of boats with children on board putting lives at risk, and an ongoing mass hunger strike on Christmas Island, we can make a mass Palm Sunday Rally an important step in the battle to shift the tide of public opinion, and win humane refugee policy.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT MUST NOT DEPORT ALI CHOUDHRY
On Tuesday, January 7, members of the Refugee Action Collective
Victoria will rally at 12pm at the Department of Immigration
in Melbourne against the deportation of Ali Choudhry.
This action is proudly endorsed by Refugee Action Collective
(Victoria) & Equal Love Ballarat.
Ali is facing deportation, back to a country where there is life
imprisonment for being gay.
Ali Choudhry grew up in the United States and has few contacts in Pakistan.
He cannot read or write the local language.
He has been in a relationship with Brisbane neuroscientist Dr Matthew Hynd for
the past four years.
Following changes to immigration laws in 2008, same-sex couples have been able
to access partnership visas for their de facto partners. In response to questions
on the issue, the immigration minister’s spokesperson noted that: “same sex couples
are assessed no differently from heterosexual couples regarding immigration matters.”
Yet, as Choudhry points out, this obscures one rather important fact: unlike heterosexual
couples, same-sex couples do not have the ability to get married to simplify the burdensome
Nearly two years later, Mr Choudhry’s application for a visa recognising his relationship
with Dr Hynd has been refused.
Chris Peterson from Refugee Action Collective said,
“This move echoes the long standing homophobia and racism of our government,
most recently enunciated in the announcement that queer refugees in PNG would be reported to the police.”
“Immigration scholar Audre Yue reminds us, individuals are forced to perform a particular
show of intimacy to satisfy legal or administrative expectations.
No one should have to get married to have their relationship recognised or respected.
When our laws and policies literally force families apart, it is time to broaden our horizons about what counts in relationships.”
“Persecuting people for their sexual preference should be a thing of the past. Australia’s convoluted visa laws fail LGBTI people. The Australian Government must grant Ali Choudhry a visa to remain in Australia.”
An online petition has been started at
For more information contact Chris Peterson 0431 311 520.
Initial organising meeting for a Palm Sunday Refugee March & Rally
Jan 20 – 6.30pm ANF House 540 Elizabeth St –
Make sure your organisation is represented.
Initiated by RAC & RAN