Family of asylum seekers with premature baby to stay for now

THE asylum seeking family of a premature baby born in Brisbane will not be taken to a Nauru detention centre until a court has heard their case next year.

A judge in the Federal Circuit Court was set to deliver a decision in the matter on Friday but the Federal Government agreed to let baby Ferouz and his family stay until a fair hearing took place.

Ferouz was kept in Brisbane's Mater Hospital alone while his mother Latifar spent 18 hours a day locked up in detention.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers Associate Murray Watt said, outside court, only a week ago, Ferouz and his family faced removal to Nauru at any time.

"All we have argued, is that the family had a right to be heard, and that they should not be taken to Nauru without being afforded that basic process of fairness," he said.

"The Federal Government has now conceded that baby Ferouz and his family deserve that right.

"The Department has now set a standard, in granting asylum seekers who are brought to Australia for medical treatment a fair hearing before being returned offshore."

Mr Watt said it was now time to consider the dozens of other children and families in detention on Nauru.

"Having achieved this win for this particular family, I think we've now all got to reflect on the entire practice of detaining small children and their families offshore in conditions that only this week the UN has reported are inhumane," he said.

"I think we can do better than that as Australians; we have international obligations that require us to do better than that.

"And I now call on the minister and entire Australian community to think about whether these are the kinds of conditions we think are acceptable for very small children and their families."

Brisbane Dean Peter Catt said, outside court, while he welcomed the result, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce remained "really concerned for the thousand, we think, children in overseas detention centres".

"We've heard this week some of the centres are overrun with rats and some people have no natural shade," the taskforce chair said.

"We think it's beginning to eat away at the Australian psyche and we feel as though this young family... have become the human face, for us, of people who are seeking us to give them asylum and care for them."



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