I.P.O. Information Service

Australia: International Progress Organization expresses concern over deportation of Sheikh Mansour

United Nations Human Rights Committee investigates Australia's handling of the case


Vienna / Sydney, 31 May 2010

The International Progress Organization (I.P.O.) has joined international human rights activists who criticize Australia over the planned deportation of Iranian cleric Sheikh Dr. Mansour Leghaei from Australia. In a statement issued last week, the President of the I.P.O., Dr. Hans Köchler, explained that the International Progress Organization considers the deportation order as a serious violation of Australia's obligations under international human rights treaties. "There can be no fair hearing of the case if the authorities refuse to disclose the allegations against Sheikh Mansour. We appeal to the government of Australia to revoke this decision," Dr. Köchler said.

Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu (South Africa) and Máiread Corrigan-Maguire (Northern Ireland), and church leaders  have also expressed their concern. Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal of the Episcopal Church said: "Dr. Leghaei is not only not a threat to Australian national security but indeed through his peaceful presence and work both within the Muslim community and with other religious leaders and people, makes a great contribution to Australian society." In a message addressed to Father David Smith of Holy Trinity Church in Sydney, Máiread Corrigan-Maguire stated: "The impending deportation of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei is a travesty of justice. There is no doubt at all that his human rights have been violated. Since the Australian government often champions human rights, it should not hesitate to provide the Sheikh with all the opportunities to defend himself. If the government deports him, it will only be tarnishing its own image internationally." Archbishop Tutu said: "In South Africa we used to have detention without trial. In Australia you have deportation without trial!"

In April the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) formally requested Australia not to deport Dr. Leghaei while it considered whether his human rights had been breached. On May 17 the Australian Immigration Minister, Senator Chris Evans, ignored the UN's request and announced that Dr. Leghaei had six weeks to leave. The United Nations Human Rights Committee has told the federal government that the deportation is a possible violation of Dr. Leghaei's human rights, and has given it a June 21 deadline to respond to the claim.

  • The Australian, Sydney

  • Support as Sheikh Mansour fights deportation

  • International human rights activists speak out about deportation of Sheikh Mansour

International Progress Organization 
Enquiries: info@i-p-o.org, phone +43-1-5332877, fax +43-1-5332962, postal address: A-1010 Vienna, Kohlmarkt 4, Austria