THE Brisbane family of 22-year-old Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor, is today coming to grips with her release from detention.
She was awarded a bridging visa and released into the arms of her Australian resident husband, Milad Jafari yesterday after two years in detention centres in Brisbane and Darwin.
The young couple immediately visited Milad’s family, and then went for a walk along a Brisbane beach together – fulfilling one of their simple, long-held wishes for freedom.
“It is like a dream. It is amazing. I haven’t coped with it yet. I would like to see that it is real. I am talking to you now so I know that it is real,” Milad said.
Ms Shamsalipoor sought asylum in Australia in 2012 after fleeing an arranged marriage to a 60-year-old man and several assaults in Iran.
She arrived in Australia by boat and now faces further legal hurdles to remain in the country with her husband and his family.
A spokesman for Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton ruled out the possibility that “illegal maritime arrivals” could obtain permanent visas.
“They are not refugees and are expected to return to their countries of origin,” he said.
Focusing on Shamsalipoor’s release, Milad, an Iranian refugee who married her after they met while studying at Yeronga state high school, said he was simply “amazed and grateful”.
“This has been an extraordinary journey and I am sure everything happens for a reason,” he said.
“We are free and can now do stuff. So we are going to make sure we grab every opportunity and work hard from here.”
Milad Jafari spoke to The Catholic Leader, which has been supporting his struggle for Mojgan’s release.
How is your wife Mojgan today, after her release?
When she woke up this morning she said “This isn’t true. Am I in a dream?”
It has been very emotional. It got to the point that she can’t even believe that she is here.”
We are very happy about this decision. It is like a dream. It is amazing. I haven’t coped with it yet. I would like to see that it is real. I am talking to you now so I know that it is real
How are you going to push to keep your wife in Australia?
You know I am going to live my life in the present and I’m just going to wish and enjoy the life because it is all about now, the present and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to live again with my wife.
We will do everything we can to be good members of this community and to be proud that we can be a couple living normally. We are going to work hard, study. We are young and we love each other.
What is Mojgan going to do now?
She is definitely looking at further studies at university. She’ll be involved in nursing and midwifery. And hopefully she can work it out from there.
She wants to do photography, she wants to follow her dance dream. The whole thing is she wants to do what she loved, always.
What about the support you have received?
So many emails and phone calls and messages sent to us, congratulating us.
I think everyone behind us is very happy. They have family, they have kids, they have partners, and this makes them understand our difficult situation.
I am very grateful to have this support. All over Australia people have supported us on this journey and I really appreciate their help. I am sure in the future we will learn from them and be grateful.
By Mark Bowling