21 Jul 2006

Lawyer for detainees on Nauru seeks ASIO papers

1:46 pm on 21 July 2006

An Australian lawyer says his government is refusing to reveal why its Security and Intelligence Organisation, ASIO, deems two Iraqi refugees being held on Nauru threats to national security.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the lawyer for the Iraqis, Julian Burnside, has applied to the Federal Court in Melbourne for ASIO to provide them with documents that outline why they are deemed national security risks.

ASIO gave adverse security assessments to Iraqi refugees Mohammed Sagar and Mohammed Fasel, who have been detained for the past five years, mostly on Nauru, as part of Australia's so-called "Pacific solution".

Mr Burnside says his clients' liberty had been "profoundly interfered with" and don't know what facts have been taken into account by ASIO in making their assessment.

He says the Iraqis have done nothing which could in any rational view justify making an adverse security assessment.