The Australian government on Saturday granted visas to six more refugees and released them from immigration detention, the officials said. The refugees will now be able to get temporary freedom from the detention.
The government officials said that the Department of home affairs granted visas to all the six men. Of them, five were detained in a Melbourne detention facility, named as Park Hotel, which was also a hotspot for Covid 19 infection. The sixth refugee, however, was detained in a separate centre in Brisbane.
All these refugees were earlier detained in Australia’s notorious regional processing system in the Pacific.
The government official said that the refugees have been released on a special visa category which will allow them to stay in Australia, temporarily for some time, and till then they will be asked to make necessary arrangements for leaving the country.
The government also said that through these visas, the refugees cannot apply for permanent resettlement in Australia but they can apply for visa extension if they are unable to make arrangements for leaving the country in that stipulated time.
The refugees however were feeling free and happy after knowing the government’s decision.
The refugees felt that they will again be sent to regional processing systems and hence they were fighting against the government and demanding for the right over non-refoulement assessment. By refoulement, refugees are forcibly returned to a country where they could be easily persecuted.
Earlier in November, Australia has released four other refugees on similar grounds from the immigration detention in the city of Melbourne.
However, people and human rights activists said that the government should release all the refugees from the detention so that they can start a new life in other countries.
As per sources, around 80 refugees are still detained in Australia with forty of them being at the Park Hotel.