Australian Government Faces Criticism After Released Immigration Detainee Charged with Assault

Australian govt under fire after released detainee charged with assaulting elderly couple. Raises concerns over monitoring of released detainees and immigration detention policies.

Mazhar Abbas
New Update
Australian Government Faces Criticism After Released Immigration Detainee Charged with Assault

Australian Government Faces Criticism After Released Immigration Detainee Charged with Assault

The Australian government is under fire after a recently released immigration detainee was charged with assaulting an elderly woman in Perth. Majid Jamshidi Doukoshkan, a 43-year-old man who had been released from immigration detention following a High Court ruling, was one of three people arrested over the alleged assault and robbery of 73-year-old Ninette Simmons and her 76-year-old husband Philip.

The incident occurred when the offenders gained access to the couple's home by posing as police officers. Ms. Simmons suffered serious injuries, with police releasing an image of her bloodied and bruised face to highlight the violent nature of the attack. "This assault has caused enormous stress and anxiety for the couple," a police spokesperson stated.

The opposition has demanded that Immigration Minister Andrew Giles and Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil be sacked over their handling of the situation. Opposition Leader Peter Dutton accused the government of incompetence and secrecy, stating, "The immigration and home affairs ministers should be answering questions and apologizing."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese defended the government's response, expressing sympathy for the victims while noting it would be inappropriate to comment further due to the ongoing police investigation. "The government will take every step required to protect the public," Albanese said, pointing to measures such as the establishment of a community protection board to monitor released detainees.

The incident has sparked a broader debate about the government's management of immigration detainees. In November 2022, the High Court ruled that indefinite immigration detention was unlawful, leading to the release of 154 men, including Doukoshkan. The government rushed through laws mandating electronic ankle monitors and curfews for the released detainees, but questions have been raised about the effectiveness of these measures and why bail was not opposed in this case.

Why this matters: The assault has highlighted potential risks and challenges associated with the release of immigration detainees following the High Court ruling. It has put pressure on the government to strengthen its monitoring and management of released detainees to ensure public safety.

Minister Giles rejected calls for his resignation, stating he would be willing to speak with the victims and accusing the opposition of focusing on problems rather than solutions. The government is also facing pressure to pass further legislation to address the potential release of more detainees under a related High Court challenge. As the police investigation continues, the incident has reignited the political debate over immigration detention policies and the balance between individual rights and community safety in Australia.

Key Takeaways

  • Detainee charged with assaulting elderly couple after release from detention
  • Opposition demands ministers' resignation over handling of detainee release
  • Government defends response, promises measures to protect public safety
  • High Court ruled indefinite detention unlawful, leading to 154 detainees' release
  • Incident reignites debate over immigration detention policies and public safety