A newborn baby in court.
A sick newborn baby.
With his mother and father fighting to keep him in a country that will give him a basic right to decent medical care.
A Government determined to send them back to hell.
The fight to keep an asylum seeker family and their newborn baby in Australia continued in a Brisbane Federal Circuit Court court yesterday.
The newborn, Ferouz (or Faris) remains weak, has trouble breastfeeding and his mother is recovering from a caesarean birth and suffers from diabetes.
His 31-year-old mother, Latifa is an asylum seeker from Myanmar who is currently living in a detention facility called Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation. Before coming to Australia, Latifa spent almost a third of her life living in a refugee camp in Malaysia.
Mamamia previously wrote on the plight of Latifa and her husband Niza.
When she initially gave birth to the premature baby at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital she was separated from him and sent back to the detention centre. To much community outrage it was reported that she was only allowed to see her baby for six hours a day.
At the time Mamamia said:
“Latifa and her family came here seeking our country’s help.
But instead they have been met with seemingly inhumane treatment. For political purposes, to prove a point that they are ‘tougher’ on border protection than anyone before them, this Government have separated a distraught mother from her sick child.
The Coalition’s Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has defended the Government’s decision to keep the mother and her newborn son apart. According to a statement released by a spokesperson, it is “common practice” for mothers to not stay overnight in the hospital when a child is sick.
The horrors that this family have already been through are unimaginable.
And today our Government has not aided their suffering, they have added to it.”
In court yesterday the family’s lawyers, who are acting pro-bono, said they should not be sent back to Nauru because their baby boy was born in Australia and the mother and baby are not well.
Lawyers for the Federal Government say there is no question the family will have to leave but no decision has been made about the timing.
It comes at the same time that the United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees released a report calling on the Federal Government to stop sending asylum-seeker children to the detention centres. It singled out the Nauru centre in particular, saying it is rat-infested, cramped, and very hot.
“It’s not appropriate for families and children to be transferred to Nauru or Papua New Guinea,” Richard Towle of the UN refugee agency said.
The newborn has since been moved from the hospital to the Brisbane detention centre with the rest of his family. Latifa has two other children – aged four and seven.