Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Asha Decision a 'Victory' for Asylum-Seeker Fight

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Asha Decision a 'Victory' for Asylum-Seeker Fight

Article excerpt

Byline: SHERELE MOODY APN NEWSDESK

ASYLUM-SEEKER baby Asha will be released into community detention in what refugee advocates claim is a major victory against the Federal Government's hard stance on asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton caved to public pressure yesterday afternoon, saying the year-old Lady Cilento Children's Hospital burns patient could stay in Brisbane.

However, he made it clear she could be returned to the offshore processing facility on Nauru.

The concession followed a week of Australia-wide protests calling for Asha -- and 267 asylum seekers including 35 infants -- to be allowed to stay in Australia.

Lady Cilento doctors refused to release Asha from hospital unless they were assured the infant would have a safe home.

The decision was supported by hundreds of protestors who rallied outside the hospital in the past week.

The protests reached fever point yesterday as fears mounted that officials would sneak the family out of the hospital to send them offshore. …

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