Iranian refugee released after nine years of detention in Australia

Iranian refugee released after nine years of detention in Australia

Masumeh Torkpour was ineligible for a permanent visa in the country due to two court sentences

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An Iranian refugee has been released after nine years in a detention center for immigrants in Australia, reports Guardian, Masumeh Torakpur, 61, was given a three-year temporary visa. He was detained after fleeing Iran in 2011 and is now temporarily lodged in a hotel in downtown Melbourne.

Torkpour’s history as a refugee goes back more than 30 years. The first exodus from Iran took place in 1989, after two years managed to find refuge in Canada. She was sentenced to four years in prison for a domestic incident in which she stabbed a woman she found in bed with her husband.

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The episode resulted in Canada’s denial of permanent visas. Torkpor returned to Iran in 2005 to care for his father, but this time he was arrested again for having fled the country illegally.

In Australia, while in custody, Torkpour was granted refugee status in 2018, but denied a request for permanent asylum based on the result of a character test. In addition to her sentence in Canada, she was sentenced to two months in prison for spitting and biting staff at the center during her detention in Australia, where she was living in a dispute over access to food and mobile phones.

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To The Guardian, Torkpour has now revealed her greatest wish is that she is free again. “Prison kept me from lighting candles for years. I will finally be able to buy a Christmas candle in honor of Mary, who was also single”, she says. “For years I was labeled ‘dangerous’ and ‘rejected.’ But my heart hopes that 11 years later, 2022 will bring my son Daniel from Canada in my arms.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

Cory Weinberg covers the intersection of tech and cities. That means digging into how startups and big tech companies are trying to reshape real estate, transportation, urban planning, and travel. Previously, he reported on Bay Area housing and commercial real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He received a "best young journalist" award from the National Association of Real Estate Editors.

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