Faizel Patel – 20/08/2021
A solicitor at Sydney West Legal and Migration says the current Australian Prime Minister and then immigration minister Scott Morrison acted in conflict of interest when he put children into an offshore detention system
Noeline Balasanthiran Harendran was speaking to Radio Islam about two cousins and refugees Adnan and Mehdi who are taking the Australian government to court, arguing that their detention to Nauru Pacific Island was fundamentally illegal because they were children at the time.
The duo who by chance travelled on the same boat from Jakarta to Australia, were just 16 when they were sent to Nauru a Pacific island nation more than 3,000 kilometres northeast of Brisbane.
The island had made a deal with Australia to host asylum seekers and refugees who had tried to get to Australia by sea.
Harendran says Morrison broke the law when he deported Adnan and Mehdi to Nauru because they were under age.
“They were under the age of 18. So technically the current prime minister was the immigration minister at the time and he was supposed to be their guardian. So the current court case we are running is to state that he acted a position of conflict of interest because he didn’t act in the best interests of the child.”
Harendran says that while they may seek financial compensation, Adnan and Mehdi remain in detention and want freedom first.
“When I talk about detention, it’s pretty much a glorified prison. The only difference is they get to have a mobile phone, go onto the internet if they want to on their phone, but they still have guards, metal doors, barbed wires. They don’t have any freedom.”
The convention of the rights of a child, which Australia is a party to and is law in the country states you have to have the best interests of the child.
Listen to the interview with Noeline Balasanthiran Harendran