The federal government continued to progress its attempted repeal of the medevac laws, including negotiations with independent Senator Jacqui Lambie, whose vote is vital for the government’s repeal bill. Rallies calling for the retention of the laws are planned in Melbourne.
A network of Australian expats in Canada have helped refugees from Manus Island and Nauru to resettle in Canada via the country’s unique private refugee sponsorship scheme. The network includes Australians living in Canada as well as Canadian locals who are raising funds and lodging applications to sponsor refugees from overseas (understood to be approximately $18,000 for each refugee). Two Iranian refugees are believed to have been resettled from Australia’s offshore detention system to Canada under the sponsorship scheme, and the groups are focusing on those refugees who are ineligible for the US resettlement program.
Iraqi refugee and alleged people smuggler Maythem Kamil Radhi, who is accused of involvement in a 2001 smuggling operation which resulted in the drowning deaths of 353 asylum seekers, has been refused bail. Radhi is the third person to face court for their role in the disaster, which involved organising 421 mostly Iraqi and Afghan refugees on an Indonesian fishing boat bound for Australia. Bail was denied due to the Queensland magistrate considering there to be ‘substantial motivation’ for him to leave Australia.
Professor Munjed Al Muderis, an orthopaedic surgeon, human rights advocate and former Iraqi refugee detained on Christmas Island, was named NSW Australian of the Year for 2020. Since fleeing Iraq by boat and being detained in Australia’s offshore system and several Australian jails, he is now known for innovations and breakthroughs in surgery and for assisting many Australians and people around the world, including returning to Iraq to assist victims of the conflict.