LGBTQ+ rights

Mustafa arrived in Australia in 2010 seeking protection from his home country. He had been subject to severe beatings, arbitrary arrests and death threats from the authorities for most of his life due to his sexuality.

He spent the first seven years after arriving in Australia in immigration detention until he was finally released on a Temporary Protection visa. When released, he found life outside immigration detention very difficult. He did not have any family support in Australia and he found it difficult to gain employment, accommodation and find any community in Australia. He was also still struggling with his sexuality having had to conceal it for many years and started to develop serious psychological issues.

Mustafa was homeless for two years and turned to shoplifting in order to feed and clothe himself. This shoplifting brought him to the attention of the police who would often charge him with shoplifting offences, for which he would later be convicted. After a number of shoplifting convictions, he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment. The Department then cancelled his Temporary Protection visa and he was returned to immigration detention awaiting possible removal from Australia. He appealed the Department’s decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

IARC was put in contact with Mustafa after his first hearing with the Tribunal. IARC represented him at two subsequent hearings and made six submissions to the Tribunal in support of his case. IARC connected Mustafa with multiple support services so that he would have access to basic services such as food, accommodation and mental health support if he was released. IARC also highlighted the dire consequences for Mustafa if his visa remained cancelled – indefinite detention or being sent back to a country where he was persecuted.

After eight months of hearings and deliberation, the Tribunal found in Mustafa’s favour. Mustafa was released from immigration detention the same day.

As a Temporary Protection visa holder, Mustafa must apply for a new visa every three years. IARC continues to support Mustafa with his latest visa application.