Democrat Immigration spokesperson Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed news of the release of Iraqi refugee, Muhammad Faisal from detention after a protracted battle over his security status, but condemned the extreme and unnecessary suffering that was inflicted on him.

“The news that he has finally received the all clear from ASIO and can now be released into the care of a supportive community is a great relief,” Senator Bartlett said.

“It is simply outrageous, however, that he was kept locked up all those years on the basis of an ASIO security assessment that has no been rescinded.

“The stress this man has been placed under after numerous failed attempts to get to the bottom of the original adverse security finding by ASIO has been enormously detrimental.

“I met with Muhammad Faisal three times during his five year stay on Nauru and twice in Brisbane since he was transferred here for extensive medical treatment at the insistence of Nauru’s government.

“I have witnessed first hand the suffering and deterioration of his physical and mental health and it has been extremely harrowing and distressing.

“Muhammad Faisal was been in limbo for nearly six years, facing an insecure future, enforced isolation and a loss of familial and social support. He suffered greatly and I hope that this welcome albeit belated good news can help him on his way to recovery,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

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