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Immigration detention: Community ‘in the dark’ about key report on ex-detainees

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
3 Min Read
Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles and Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, March 27, 2024.
Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles and Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

The promised monthly report from the Commonwealth Law Enforcement Board which decides what conditions are imposed on ex-detainees is nowhere to be seen, prompting accusations the Federal Government is keeping Australians “in the dark about their community safety failings”.

The ongoing secrecy comes as Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil brushed off calls to resign after the alleged robbery and bashing of a Girawheen couple at the hands of an ex-detainee.

The board — which advised against fitting Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan with a GPS tracker before his alleged role in the horrifying attack — was supposed to start releasing monthly updates on the detainees freed after last year’s High Court ruling on.

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The reports first promised in mid-March, were due to include figures on the number of people released from detention, the conditions they must adhere to in the community, and if any applications for preventative detention had been submitted to Supreme Courts.

Six weeks later, the first of the monthly reports is yet to be published.

“They (the Federal Government) promised more transparency and they’ve failed to deliver,” Shadow Home Affairs Minister James Paterson told The Nightly.

“They should not be keeping Australians in the dark about their community safety failings.”

“Australians deserve to know what is going on with this high-risk cohort now free in the community.

‘They (the Federal Government) promised more transparency and they’ve failed to deliver,’ Shadow home affairs minister James Paterson told The West. 
‘They (the Federal Government) promised more transparency and they’ve failed to deliver,’ Shadow home affairs minister James Paterson told The West.  Credit: MICK TSIKAS/AAPIMAGE

The board is under scrutiny after revelations it recommended against fitting Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan with an ankle monitoring bracelet.

The 43-year-old is now facing charges for his role in an alleged home invasion and bashing which left grandmother Ninette Simons with severe facial injuries.

Chaired by Border Force assistant commissioner Sandra Jeffrey, the eight-person board includes Commonwealth law enforcement officials, former police chiefs, a clinical psychologist and youth justice expert.

The board – which was set up in December – makes recommendations on what conditions should be imposed on each detainee based on their risk to the community.

Conditions include curfews, ankle monitoring and the possibility of re-detention.

Mr Jamshidi Doukoshkan was hauled before court in February accused of repeatedly breaching curfew.

The Commonwealth did not oppose bail, with the magistrate telling the court that she would not have been so “generous” had it not done so.

The Nightly was in the courtroom for the hearing.

Despite this, Government sources were privately telling The Nightly and other journalists that the Commonwealth did oppose bail - an incorrect claim that was repeated by on air by Communications Minister Michelle Rowland.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton said it was an “outrage” that Commonwealth prosecutors did not oppose bail.

“Had that bloke been kept in custody, would this woman have been assaulted, this elderly lady been assaulted in the terrible way that she has?” Mr Dutton told 5AA radio in Adelaide.

“Most likely not, and I think that tells you a lot.”

Appearing on Sunrise, Ms O’Neil expressed her “deepest sympathies” with Ms Simmons before pointing the finger at the Coalition.

“I would just say I think it was a bit disappointing yesterday to see the opposition immediately outplaying the politics on this matter,” she said.

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