Lawyer has heard many horror stories of stateless people

HORROR stories cross paths with Ali Mojtahedi, a senior solicitor for the Refugee Advice and Casework Service, daily.

He has represented many asylum seekers, including Faylee Kurds.

Many Faylee Kurds were executed in Iraq under Saddam Hussein's rule in the 1980s. Those lucky enough to escape were stripped of their Iraqi citizenship and forced over the border into Iran.

Mr Mojtahedi said they were placed in various camps in Iran.

As they are without a country to call their own, Faylee Kurds do not possess a passport and have no proper identification apart from a document similar to a green card.

"Essentially they're living in Iran stateless and at any time they can be kicked out," Mr Mojtahedi said.

Kurdish refugee Ali Palavaneh is caught in an immigration nightmare where he has no state to return to but his bridging visa has been revoked and the Department of Immigration has ordered him to return to his home country. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Kurdish refugee Ali Palavaneh is caught in an immigration nightmare where he has no state to return to but his bridging visa has been revoked and the Department of Immigration has ordered him to return to his home country. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

Many are discriminated against and do not have adequate health or receive a proper education.

But they cannot be in their own country, Iran, to seek asylum in Australia and because they do not have passports many turn to people smugglers to escape the country.

But some have become Iranian Kurds by being sponsored by Iranians.

Mr Mojtahedi said this was one of two main issues the Australian Immigration Department had to consider.

He said applications were refused if the department believed the asylum seekers had Iranian nationality, or if they believed the harm the asylum seeker feared did not reach the threshold of "serious harm".


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