Gay Tongan wins refuge despite lies
A TONGAN national who lied about a child sex conviction in the US and fraud convictions involving false passports has been granted refugee status because he is gay.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has ruled that his offences were “not particularly serious” after the overturning of a decision by a delegate for the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection to refuse the man a visa on character grounds.
AAT deputy president Stephen Frost said the 40-yearold’s freedom in Tonga, where homosexuality is still illegal, would be threatened if was sent back “although there is information from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade that the incidence of cases in which the authorities take action appears very low”.
“Australia has an obligation not to return the applicant to Tonga,” Mr Frost said.
The man said he had been beaten and sexually assaulted in Tonga because of his sexuality and his case was remitted to the tribunal after he won an appeal against the Minister’s decision. The man had arrived in Australia on a temporary business visa in February 2012 and in June 2012 applied for a protection visa.