Immigration Minister Ignores Suicide Attempt and Geneva Appeal to Halt Deportation of Chinese Family

Despite a communication from the Geneva-based Special Rapporteur on Torture with the UN High Commission on Human Rights to the Department of Foreign Affairs, requesting a halt to any removal of the L family, the Minister for Immigration has refused to intervene to stop the deportation of the family to China.

The mother,  who attempted suicide in the early hours of this morning is presently scheduled for removal later today, but the father, Mr H L and his son, D, were removed on the schedule flight from Sydney at 10.50am.

Refugee advocates are calling on the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, to act urgently to prevent the deportation of Mrs L and to take measures to ensure the safety of Mr L and his 17 year old son D.

Overnight, eight hundred signatures were collected on a petition supporting the family.

On humanitarian grounds alone the Minister should have stopped the deportations this morning. It is a disgrace that the Minister would proceed with the removal of this family given the doubts that they will be safe in China and the mental distress they are experiencing.

It is inconceivable that Mrs L is in any state to handle her deportation to China. The supposedly family friendly Minister has separated this vulnerable family to intimidate them even further, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Late yesterday afternoon, the Ministerial Intervention Unit rejected new information to the Minister documenting the danger that faces the underground Christian family if they are returned.

Included in that new information was a copy of a Chinese government summons for the father, Mr H L to appear in court.

Mr Liu brother who recently returned to China, was detained and questioned by Chinese authorities, who believed he was Mr H L.

Mr Liu’s 24 year old first son, resident in China was only recently released after seven months in a re-education camp for holding an unlawful assembly of an underground Christian group.

It is obvious that the family is under surveillance by authorities and that the man is wanted in China. This should rule out any question that the family can be safely sent back to China, said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Australia has an obligation under the Refugee Convention and the Convention on Torture and not to refoule (return) an asylum seeker to danger.

We are urging the Minister to act immediately. The human rights abuses by the Chinese government are well-documented. The Minister should stop playing with asylum seekers lives, said Ian Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

15 thoughts on “Immigration Minister Ignores Suicide Attempt and Geneva Appeal to Halt Deportation of Chinese Family

  1. Jeremy MO says:

    This is inhumane it is dangerous in china. It is evidence enough that the mother is willing to sacrifice her life before she goes back. Please have a heart and let them stay

  2. MEE PING LAU says:

    As this is still a very sensitive stages, can you please prevent mentioning the full name and place of the victim?

  3. The grandma is suffering from cancer, it has spread to another organ, lost weight, indicated that she miss her son and their family very much. She wish to see them before it is too late, YET for their safety, SHE PREFERS not to see them.
    I was very moved by the great love of the mother.
    Where is the sympathy from the Labor Government?

  4. ting zhang says:

    Please have mercy on them. Not only that, why not give them a go so they have freedom to choose for themselves as to what kind of people they wanna be (i.e. christian). Also they are really good and hard working people which will add value to this country.
    When a family-oriented mother choose death over deportation, it means she knows what is the best for her family.
    And they have come to love this country so much through the years they have been here. Please give them a fair go.

  5. It is shocking to know that a developed country like Australia which is well-known for its advocacy of human rights would have allowed such inhuman and tragic event took place. It is my strongest plea to the Minister to execute his authority in a way to protect innocent Liu family. It is our common ground that human rights abuse should not be tolerated and for a common cause, we should endeavour to advocate for all to enjoy their human rights.

  6. Jonathon Ho says:

    This is becoming ridiculous!!!! It’s really encouraging to hear from you guys trying to save this family from this hardship. I’m sad to hear about the family falling apart, mum isn’t coping and grandma is sick…but it may be difficult but God calls us to follow him at all times and seek him all our life.
    2 Corinthians 12:9-10
    “I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
    Will be praying for you guys!

  7. what a rubbish!

    i am surprised this one so determined to stay in australia. what is good about australia? chinese treated better in australia? in most cases, it is not. get a better job, in most cases, it is not?

    the truth is no one cares about having one more or less chinese in china. if you really want to fight hard, and accuse china this and that, you are free to leave. but you know and we all know, by accusing china to get a passport, you know and we all know, you won’t be back to china for rest of your life.

    your children and your children’s children, won’t be back to china.

    a canadian man who did the same thing, and got his passport. then after 10yrs, he is applying of returning to china.

    he said he should be allowed, and he now changed his mind and he wants to go back to china.

    we have not changed our mind. china does not need you, and we don’t want you neither.

  8. this is a very sad story and an opportunity for Australia to show the mercy to this family who loves the country. The success of this family will bring good to the country and gratefulness from all the Chinese that Australia is a superior and human right understanding country. This family will make valuable contribution to the country and the communities. They are exceptional people and can bring honor to Australia for allowing them the chance to be loyal and respectful immigrants. Every country needs dedicated and devoted people like them. I am sure the world is touched by this faithful mother who is willing to sacrifice her life for the future of her dear family. What a story this would be if it has a wonderful and merciful ending.

  9. Shudon from Canada says:

    Honorable Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen:
    Please consider the following issues:
    1. sending the family back to China is like sending them back to a lion’s den
    2. the 2 young men in this family are outstanding, I have met one of them
    3. this family already have many relatives settled in Australia as excellent citizens and the relatives are planning to move all their assets to Australia
    4. they have strong financial supporters in Australia and Canada if granted an opportunity for sponsorship
    5. they are Christians and have records of being honorable, valuable, creditable, commendable, worthy and contributing to the society. They have many supporters from their church.
    6. they will be patriotic to Australia, willing to sacrifice thier lives to stay in the country.

  10. Deanna Kayne says:

    As said by Ian Rintoul, “Australia has an obligation under the Refugee Convention and the Convention on Torture and not to refoule (return) an asylum seeker to danger.” There are obvious legal and moral reasons to ensure the safe keeping of this family.

    Freedom of religion is a part of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. “The human rights abuses by the Chinese government are well-documented.” (Ian Rintoul)

    Find the time and means to take care of these people!

  11. First off please let me say, Jan that is an appalling thing to say.
    Secondly, I believe that all the other comments are absolutely amazing to read. I know their son David and he was going to start year 12 this year. Can you imagine how he must feel and how worried he must be having to go back to China and having to learn the Chinese curriculum and sit their HSC test if they have one?

  12. @ Jennifer: I totally agree. I’m so worried for David…he’s been in Australia for so long and it’ll be extremely hard to settle into the Chinese schooling environment. I really hope he comes back to Australia.

  13. Jason Zheng says:

    I don’t know why Austrilia government cannot just let them stay but send them back. It’s the government reponsibility to look after those people who need help and shelter them here. It’s too inhuman to treat them like this and even don’t care the fact that a desperating mother want to suicide to help her son. Aus government are always trying to convince the world that they care more about humanity and people’s right, but they failed its people once again if they continue this irresponsible behaviour and should be accursed.

  14. Ruth Hyrve says:

    This is a very sad situation and I would urge the Austrailan government to show compassion and not deport this family.
    In my own case,the Canadian government finally heard my own case and granted my citizenship after 53 years of thinking I already was Canadian. Numerous times(during my adult life) I attempted to get appropriate documentation confirming that I was indeed Cdn. Citizenship officials told me that they did not know how to follow my case through to completion. Finally, after 9/11, in November 2006, I insisted that my case be heard at Cabinet level in Ottawa. The following week I received Cdn citizenship and appropriate documentation. It is possible for Australia to follow Canada’s example. I hope they do.

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