Thursday, January 1, 2015

Australia can secure journalist Peter Greste's freedom by not supporting the Muslim Brotherhood


Australia can secure journalist Peter Greste's freedom by not supporting the Muslim Brotherhood

by Ganesh Sahathevan
The Australian Government is reported to be in negotiations with the Egyptian Government to secure the release of one of it's citizens, the Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.Greste  and two other Al-Jazeera employees are  accused of assisting the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Australian Government has made a number of high level ministerial representations in his favour,but to no avail. Meanwhile, Australia contonues to provide polticial asylum to members of the Brotherhood, and in doing so a base for operations( see notes below). 
In addition Australia has done nothing to stop  Human Appeal International from using  Australia as one of its main bases for sourcing funds, despite the not unfounded  concern that it finances terrorists and evidence of HAI breaching Australian laws.
The solution  to the problem of Peter Greste seems straightforward:Australia can and should offer to cut the Brotherhood's Australian supports.Indeed, that request was recently conveyed, but obviously ignored.

The following is a collection of cases that were heard by Australia's Refugee Review Tribunal,and higher courts , where the applicants sought protection on the grounds of persecution because of political beliefs; in these cases evidenced by their membership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In all these cases ,where the appeals have been successful, the decision was based on findings of whether the applicants had successfully proven membership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
 These cases must be read in full,but  I have provided some excerpts in order  to summarise the issue.I have also provided two Australian  newspaper reports where concerns were raised about the issue.
There are other cases  where the appeal failed because the applicant could not prove membership of the Muslim Brotherhood to the satisfaction of the tribunal or court.
The Cases
RRT Reference: N01/38786
Date decision made: 31 July 2002
....the Applicant claims that he has suffered and fears persecution in Syria because of political views which will be imputed to him because he has previously served several years imprisonment for being involved with the Muslim Brotherhood.

  1. The Tribunal remits the matter for reconsideration with the direction that the applicant is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations under the Refugees Convention.
RRT Reference: N95/09809-June 1996

This matter concerns a decision made by a delegate of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (the Minister), in effect, to refuse to grant the Applicant a protection visa, as provided for under the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). The Applicant was represented by a solicitor from Legal Aid.

In 1984 the Applicant joined the Muslim Brotherhood >> in Hyderabad. He said this was only possible by invitation from existing members. He had become significantly involved through his activities in the Muslim Student Union
Decision: The Tribunal remits the application for consideration in accordance with the direction that the Applicant must be taken to have satisfied the criterion that he is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations under the Refugees Convention
M196 of 2002 v MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION & ANOR[2005] FMCA 1650
MIGRATION – Refugee Review Tribunal – protection visa – confusion regarding meaning of 'jihad' and political group 'al Jihad' – whether denial of procedural fairness – reliance of textbook extract not put to applicant – whether jurisdictional error – whether breach of s.424 of Migration Act.
.The applicant before this court relies upon an application filed 1 September 2004 seeking judicial review of a decision of the Refugee Review Tribunal (the Tribunal) dated 3 July 2001. In its decision the Tribunal affirmed a decision of the first respondent's delegate to refuse to grant to the applicant a protection visa.

.The applicant is a citizen of Egypt who arrived in Australia on 7 March 2000. He travelled on an Egyptian passport issued in Kiev on 14 September 1999 and valid to 13 September 2006. When he arrived in Australia on 7 March 2000 he was the holder of a tourist short stay visa. Before he arrived in Australia the applicant has resided in the Ukraine for over five years.
6.On 20 March 2000 the applicant lodged an application for a protection visa, and on 8 May 2000 a delegate of the first respondent refused to grant the visa. The applicant then applied for review of that decision to the Tribunal on 1 June 2000.

"5. I have known the << Muslim Brotherhood >> for as long as I can remember. In around 1990, while I was still doing my national services, I was approached through men I knew from the mosque to become involved in the <<Muslim Brotherhood >>. I was invited to join the prayer groups and meetings. At this stage Islamic movements in Egypt were on the rise and I had friends who were joining << Muslim >> << Brotherhood >> and other organisations.
6. I was interested in the << Muslim Brotherhood >> because of my commitment to the Muslim faith. The mosque that I attended most was in (Y) although I also went to other mosques in surrounding towns. The <<Muslim Brotherhood >> was fairly strong in (Y).
7. Part of the reason that I was invited to join the <<Muslim Brotherhood >> was because I am a part of a big family in the (Y) area. I was asked to spread the <<Muslim Brotherhood >> message through my extended family.
8. I did not tell my immediate family about my involvement in the <<Muslim >> <<Brotherhood >>. I did not want them to know because I knew they would not approve as they knew the <<Muslim Brotherhood >> was an illegal organisation and that people were sometimes being arrested. The only one I told about my involvement in the <<Muslim Brotherhood >> until I was forced to leave was my younger brother, (M)." (Court book page 40)

RRT Reference: N96/12875 (10 November 1997)
Decision: The Tribunal remits the matter for reconsideration with the direction that the applicant is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations under the Refugees Convention

The Tribunal found the applicant to be a credible witness and accepts his claim that he was a member of the <<Muslim Brotherhood >>. The applicant appeared sincere in describing his belief in the Brotherhood's aims, and the applicant's witness was credible in describing how he had been satisfied that the applicant was a member of the << Muslim Brotherhood >> as he claimed. The Tribunal also accepts as factual the communication from the << Muslim Brotherhood >> attesting to the applicant's membership of the group. The signatory to that document is a member of a family with a very high profile in the Brotherhood. One of the Bayanuni family is currently the controller-general of the Brotherhood (see BBC Monitoring Service, above).

The applicant therefore has a well-founded fear of persecution by the Syrian authorities, because of his political opinion and religious beliefs as a member of the <<Muslim Brotherhood >>, if he returns to Syria.


The Tribunal is satisfied that the applicant is a person to whom Australia has protection obligations under the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol. Therefore the applicant satisfies the criterion set out in s.36(2) of the Act for a protection visa.

Follower of radical Islamic movement granted asylum in Australia
Article from: Herald Sun
Padraic Murphy
August 27, 2009 12:00am
A FOLLOWER of a radical Islamic movement that seeks to introduce sharia law and has been linked to terrorist groups is being granted asylum in Australia.
The Refugee Review Tribunal has recommended a protection visa for an Egyptian man, who is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic political group with links to al-Qaida.
The Muslim Brotherhood has been outlawed in several countries, including Egypt.
It seeks to establish a pan-Islamic state ruled by sharia law and is committed to the destruction of Israel.
The Egyptian man initially was denied a protection visa by the Department of Immigration, but the decision was overturned by the tribunal.
"The tribunal is of the view that the applicant's decision to abandon ship, insistence on his rights not to return to Egypt for medical treatment, and behaviour towards his captain, if combined with his support for the Muslim Brotherhood, his low-level political activities and past expression of anti-government political views, would generate a profile that could attract the adverse attention of the authorities and focus their attention on his sympathies for the brotherhood," it found.
"On this basis, the tribunal is of the opinion that there is a real chance that this could place the applicant at risk of facing arrest, detention and ill-treatment."
Prof Greg Barton of Monash University said the Muslim Brotherhood had been linked to terrorist attacks, such as the Luxor bus bombing in 1997, but had since denounced violence, though many of its goals had been taken up by terrorist groups.
"Al-Qaida and other militant groups have benefited greatly from their ideas so it is true that the ideas produced by the brotherhood are taken further by more militant groups," he said.
"The brotherhood connection for anybody would automatically give Australian authorities a reason to check into their background."
Jeremy Jones, director of international affairs with the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council, said the brotherhood presented a threat to democratic countries.
"The Muslim Brotherhood has been banned in many countries for good reason," he said. "It's not just it's attitude towards Israel that's of concern. It has strands that are very sympathetic towards terrorism."
Opposition immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone said she would write to Mr Evans asking to have the decision overturned.
Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the man would have a rigorous security check before a visa was granted.
"Should there be an adverse security assessment, the department cannot grant a visa," he said.

AUSTRALIA has granted asylum to Muslim Brotherhood members

From The Australian April 22, 2006 by Natalie O'Brien ...

AUSTRALIA has granted asylum to five men who claim their membership of an organisation accused of ties to al-Qa'ida would expose them to persecution in their home countries. The men from Syria, Egypt and India sought protection on the basis of their membership of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned in Syria and is considered the father of terrorist groups including al-Qa'ida.

Osama bin Laden's right-hand man Ayman al-Zawahiri adopted the organisation. And earlier this month, The Weekend Australian revealed that one of the five asylum-seekers, Ahmad al-Hamwi, who arrived in Australia 10 years ago, was a senior al-Qa'ida bagman linked to 1993 World Trade Centre bomber Ramzi Yousef.

US terror expert Steven Emerson said the practice of allowing Muslim Brotherhood members into Australia was "extremely dangerous". Mr Emerson, credited with being the first expert to warn about al-Qa'ida, said Britain had a similar policy to Australia, which had led to a "high concentration of radicals" and the establishment of extremist networks there.
"I am astounded at such a policy ... there is no doubt that there are ties between the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qa'ida," Mr Emerson said.

The five cases, which went before the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Federal Magistrates Court between 1996 and 2002, revealed the applicants had sought protection on the grounds they were members or associates of the Brotherhood. Two men were given protection in 2002, after the September 11 attacks in the US. The Syrian arm of the Brotherhood has been linked to the al-Qa'ida members involved in planning the attacks.

In one case that went before the RRT, a Syrian revealed how he had been recruiting members to the Brotherhood without specifically mentioning the group. He said he tried to attract recruits by speaking about the aims of the group to overthrow the Syrian Government and usher in an Islamic society.

The former head of security with the French secret service, Alain Chouet, has this month written a briefing for the European Strategic Intelligence and Security Centre, warning that the Muslim Brotherhood should not be underestimated. "Like every fascist movement on the trail of power, the Brotherhood has achieved perfect fluency in doublespeak," Mr Chouet wrote.

Tzvi Fleischer, an analyst with the Australia-Israel Jewish Affairs Council, said: "While only parts of the Muslim Brotherhood are terrorists, the rest are cheerleaders or apologists for terrorism."

But federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said the Muslim Brotherhood was not a listed terrorist organisation in Australia or in any of its allied countries. "It would be a flawed view to assume a person was a security risk simply because they had a link to an organisation of this name," he said. Mr Ruddock said anyone wanting to come to Australia was checked by intelligence agencies but the Government would be concerned if any new information came to light linking them to terrorist organisations.

Mr al-Hamwi was, by his own admission to the RRT, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood

Posted by  on April 20, 2014 at 18:24 | Permalink

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