Australian government ignoring international conventions to deport Muslim cleric

Australian government ignoring international conventions to deport Muslim clericAccording to reports, Human rights groups have accused the Australian government of ignoring international conventions in deciding to deport a Shiite Muslim cleric.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported on Monday that Australia will deport Sheik Mansour Leghaei, who has lived in Sydney for 16 years, after an "adverse security finding" against him.

ABC also reported that in a letter to the Australian government, the United Nations argued Leghaei had been denied a fair hearing on the adverse finding.

The letter said, "If Australia proceeds to deport the sheik it will be in direct contravention of its obligations under its international human rights treaties."

ABC said that the Australian Security Intelligence Organization assessment found Leghaei a threat to national security, suspected of "acts of foreign interference."

Under Australian law, the ASIO is not required to tell Leghaei why it suspects him. Supporters say he should be allowed to hear the evidence.

Ben Saul of the Sydney Center for International Law at the University of Sydney, said, "If there's evidence, all the sheik asks is that evidence be provided to him so that he can challenge it."
(With inputs from Agencies)

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