EDITORIAL: Political and systemic failure at centre of detainee debacle putting Australians in danger

The Nightly
3 Min Read
Detainee drama creates more headaches for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.
Detainee drama creates more headaches for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

Another day, another ex-immigration detainee in front of the courts.

Another embarrassment for Anthony Albanese.

More major headaches for Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles and Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neill.

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More finger-pointing and blame-shifting.

More evidence of political and systemic failure.

But no one taking any real responsibility.

And now 73-year-old Girrawheen woman Ninette Simons has become the bruised and bloodied face of the whole debacle after being allegedly assaulted and robbed in her own home by a group of three men posing as police officers — one of whom was, it is alleged, an ex-immigration detainee.

Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan, 43, was one of the 152 people released after a landmark High Court ruling in November that indefinite immigration detention was unlawful.

The decision seemed to come as a total surprise to the Government and left Mr Albanese’s team scrambling to bring in emergency laws to keep an eye on those released.

It is clear those laws are not working.

Yet there was no talk of action from Mr Albanese over the issue this week, who simply joined the “thoughts and prayers” brigade, saying the “thoughts of all Australians” were with Mrs Simons and her 76-year-old husband.

He added that it would be inappropriate to comment while the matter was before the courts.

Mr Albanese has obviously still not grasped that actions speak louder than words.

It was revealed in court this week that Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan had allegedly breached an overnight curfew placed on him repeatedly this year and had been bailed at least three times since his release from detention.

Counsel for the Commonwealth did not oppose bail when he fronted court over the alleged breaches in February, but the magistrate warned that he was “on very thin ice”, adding that she would not have granted bail had the Commonwealth not been so “generous”.

Speaking on Tuesday WA Premier Roger Cook said all ex-detainees were assessed to determine the risk they posed to the wider community.

Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan was not one of the 73 former detainees being tracked with an ankle monitoring device after a recommendation from the Commonwealth law enforcement board.

“Obviously, the different detainees experience different levels of monitoring, depending on the assessment that they that this risk assessment that they represent to the community,” Mr Cook said.

“We all wish the High Court had not made the decision that it did, which allowed these detainees to go free.”

Meanwhile, another former detainee Abdelmoez Mohamed Elawad was charged over an immigration breach in Victoria.

He fronted Melbourne’s Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with three counts of breaching his visa-mandated curfew and one count of failing to maintain his monitoring device.

Neither Mr Giles nor Ms O’Neil have commented publicly since the alleged attack on Mrs Simons.

But Opposition leader Peter Dutton was not mincing his words, calling for both Labor ministers to be sacked over the debacle.

Mr Dutton said the Federal Government had created a “dangerous situation” for the community.

“I don’t want anybody to fall victim to a serious criminal offence,” he said.

Does the alleged attack of a 73-year-old woman in her own home not suggest we are already well beyond that?


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