[18 December 2014] - Baby Ferouz, the child born to asylum seeker parents in Brisbane who gained international attention after a Federal Court ruled he was not eligible for a protection visa, has been granted the right to stay in Australia.
One-year-old Ferouz Myuddin, and 30 other children who were previously held on the notorious detention centre on the island of Nauru, will be allowed to stay with their families in Australia while their claims to be refugees are assessed. The move follows a surprise intervention by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Ferouz’s father, who fled political oppression in Burma to travel down under, welcomed the news. He said in a statement: “this is a very joyful day for my whole family”.
Murray Watt, the lawyer representing Ferouz and the other families embroiled in the case, said Morrison’s decision was the culmination of more than a year of work.
“Today’s announcement means that Australian-born babies of asylum seekers who were transferred here from Nauru will be allowed to remain in Australia and have their protection claims assessed,” Watt said.
Watt added that Ferouz and the 30 other families involved in the case had “only cleared the first hurdle” with this decision and still had to have their bids for refugee status considered.
The decision taken on Thursday has been described by the government as a one-off, which will not impact on other cases. Morrison confirmed that pregnant women detained in Australia’s immigration detention facilities “will also be returned to Nauru, with their babies, at an appropriate time”.