Protesters rally against Australian government's decision to deport Sheikh

13:35, June 03, 2010      

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About 1,000 protesters on Thursday have marched on Parliament House in Canberra of Australia, demanding a review of the planned deportation of Sheikh Mansour Leghaei, who is the force behind an Islamic center in suburban Sydney, Australian Associated Press reported.

The protesters were wearing blue armbands to display solidarity with the United Nations, in particular the Human Rights Committee which has asked Australia not to deport the Sheikh until it considers his case.

Leghaei, who has lived in Australia for 16 years, has been ordered to leave the country by June 27 following two adverse security declarations from Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO).

He and his followers have fought the matter at length through the courts and most recently took the matter to the United Nations.

Despite all their appeals, Immigration Minister Chris Evans has remained steadfast in the decision to deport Leghaei.

On May 17 Senator Evans said the ASIO finding was all that mattered.

"The fact remains that he is the subject of an adverse security assessment," Senator Evans said.

"In reaching this decision, I have acted in the national interest because Australia's national security must always be paramount."

Ben Saul, one of the barristers who has been fighting the case, told Australian Associated Press "The evidence has never been tested in an independent court."

"No Australian can have confidence that the allegations are accurate."

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