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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, July 18, 2005

Free at last

Australia's longest-held asylum seeker, Peter Qasim, is finally free. After seven years in detention, he is now living with his adopted parents in Adelaide. "I don't know what my future is now, but I am happy to have the chance to live a normal life", he said. "I never wanted to be a burden on Australia."

What other so-called democracy would hold an innocent man for seven, long years in detention?


Blogger Guy said...

Truly obscene that he was detained for so long. There should be a Royal Commission.

We have our own little Gitmo it seems.

Monday, July 18, 2005 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Guy said...

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Monday, July 18, 2005 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Guy said...

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Monday, July 18, 2005 12:18:00 pm  
Blogger Vasco Pyjama said...

I was reading Peter's story, and a few things struck me.

Peter and I are the same age. We are both 31. He arrived in Australia in September 1998. He has been in detention since.

I cast my mind back to September 1998. It seems like an eternity ago. I was in my first ever real job in Canberra, and was earning paltry $23,500 per annum. I hadn't finished my Masters... I hadn't even decided what my thesis would be.

Since then, I have done so much. During these seven years, I have been through six jobs, a mortgage, three mobile phones, a Master's thesis, and nine goldfish. I have been a wife and a step-mother, and I have then become an ex-wife. I have worked in five countries, I have learnt how to ride a motorbike, and made a squillion friends.

In short, I have lived such a full life, from 24 to 31.

But what about Peter Qasim? He's had his liberty deprived of him for seven long years. From 24 to 31. All the life you could have lived, Peter! An no one has to pay for it.

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:25:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Thanks for that.
Qasim's life is indeed tragic. That Australia has treated a man like this makes me sick...
Today Amanda Vanstone said that the exact background of Qasim is dodgy. Sorry what? She's had seven years to find out these details and still feels the need to defame him?

Monday, July 18, 2005 10:52:00 pm  

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