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Detention centre ‘hell’ kept young married couple apart over Christmas

Milad Jafari

Torn apart: Milad Jafari is still fighting to have his wife Mojgan Shamsalipoor freed from immigration detention. Photo: Emilie Ng

A YOUNG Brisbane woman has one hope for 2016 – that she will “come back from this hell” in immigration detention and be reunited with her husband.

Mojgan Shamsalipoor is in detention in Darwin facing possible deportation back to Iran.

In the meantime, her husband Milad Jafari is back in Brisbane working tirelessly for her release.

Catholic refugee advocate Brendan Scarce is among the couple’s hundreds of supporters.

Mr Scarce said on World Refugee Day – January 17 – it was time, “especially in this Year of Mercy, to go beyond questioning to prudent actions that convey grace and blessing to those who have suffered detention”.

He welcomed Mr Jafari and his parents into his home for Christmas dinner.

Mr Jafari, a refugee from Iran who is a permanent resident of Australia, flew to Darwin later in the day to visit his wife.

They have been married a little over a year but, for most of that time, Ms Shamsalipoor has been in detention, firstly in Brisbane before she was transferred to a Darwin immigration detention centre in August last year.

She had been seeking asylum after arriving in Australia by boat from Indonesia and had been granted community detention.

The Immigration Department subsequently rejected her asylum application.

Mr Jafari said they were desperately seeking permission from Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to apply for a partnership visa for Ms Shamsalipoor to remain in Australia and be released from detention.

Her family back in Iran have warned her not to return because it is not safe to do so.

“All I want is to live in happiness and safety with my wife,” Mr Jafari said.

He said if that meant choosing to live in another country, other than Australia, he would do that. Mr Jafari said making regular trips to Darwin was becoming expensive but he would continue because “we miss each other so much”.

“My wife said, ‘Instead of coming to Darwin you can work for our future and study for our future, when I can come back from this hell’,” he said.

By Peter Bugden

Catholic Church Insurance

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