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Gaziur (Gazi) Rahman – the brutal treatment of a worthy New Australian.

By Keith Davis

“I have never had to flee my country in order to save my life. How lucky am I? I have never had to fear being returned to a country where the likely consequence of such an unwanted move would be my death. How lucky am I?”

I wrote those words many months ago in support of my friend Gaziur (Gazi) Rahman. Since that time I have moved away from the Gympie region, where Gazi lives, and I have returned back to the Sunshine Coast.

The time and distance thing – it is easy to forget isn’t it? It is easy to turn inwards and only focus on issues that affect one’s own personal welfare. Well, because of Gazi’s circumstances, and the humility of his approach to battling adversity, I refuse to forget, and I refuse to turn inwards and away from him.

Here is a little of what I wrote a while ago:

“Once a week here in Gympie a group of us blokes get together over a coffee to support each other through the usual regional malaise of social isolation. We all, for a million different reasons live alone-type lifestyles, and it is good to get together with other men and have a chat about everything from cars to the meaning of life.

A few months ago a new bloke by the name of Gaziur Rahman joined the group. Naturally, being Australian, we all called him Gazi. He was quiet, didn’t say much except about cricket, but he kept coming back.

And over time, out came the facts of his life.

Because of political issues he fled Bangladesh in fear of his life in 2012. Then he did what anyone of us would do if we were fleeing to save our lives, he jumped on the first available mode of transport, which happened to be a boat, and arrived in Australia in 2013. Yes, just like my European ancestors, Gazi was a boat person. Mind you, my ancestors were convicts, he wasn’t.

After the usual detention centre reception Gazi found work in Nolan’s Meatworks here in Gympie. From all accounts he was a valued and hardworking employee. I imagine that at that stage he was simply very thankful to have survived, and to have found safety, refuge, and a job here in the local Gympie community.

As life does, in 2014 life threw Gazi one heck of a curve ball. It involved his bicycle and a car, and Gazi did not come out of the collision all that well. One of his legs was incredibly mangled.

Recuperation from such a damaging event takes time, and Gazi was not able to return part-time to work until early 2016. Good on Nolan’s Meatworks for standing by Gazi I say because that is the true measure of the nature of Gympie people.

Then came the further curve balls. Gazi was denied a Work Visa and forced, against his and just about everybody else’s will, to give up his job at Nolan Meatworks in January 2017. He cannot receive any sort of income support because he does not have a Visa.

Now I can tell you this, we here in the group are just a normal collection of blokes. We do not have financial or political power. But we do have one thing. We have a very clear understanding of what is Right, and what is Wrong. What is currently happening to Gazi is very definitely Wrong.

Gazi is a decent man and he has proven his worth. He has paid his way and contributed to the local community. We want him to stay. If he is forced to go back to a very uncertain fate then that would just about have to be the most un-Australian thing I have ever seen in my life.”

Since I wrote those words Gazi has had to endure yet another operation on his leg. The recuperation is painful but he barely mentions that. Gazi has never asked anybody else to speak on his behalf, but I would like to say this.

Gazi has been, and is still being, treated in an appalling manner. He is hardly what I could call fully ambulatory, and as far as I understand it, WorkCover has informed him that he is now cleared to return to work.

So … one Government Department revokes his work visa and cuts him off from any sort of social welfare support through Centrelink … and another Government Department says back to work you go old son even though you can barely stand and even though we are fully aware that our friends over the hall have revoked your work visa.

In a very bad way it reminds me of the English show Yes Minister. That show was not just a comedy series – underneath the intelligently glib lines lay an expose of the brutality and viciousness inherent in some governmental policy implementation.

What is happening to Gaziur Rahman is vicious, brutal, and totally undeserved. Essentially he is being told to either return back to an uncertain fate … or stay here and starve.

I am beyond ashamed with the actions of our government.

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  1. Khaled

    Well written. “Feeling Shameful” is an understatement. This is one of the many reasons why the LNP, mainly Dutton, agreed to the $70M settlement; to keep the hideous treatment of refugees hidden from the public.

  2. Sir ScotchMistery

    But, Khaled and Keith, as long as WE keep saying “I have no political or financial power”, WE become Ben Franklin’s insane; the idiots, who keep voting for 2 parties without the wisdom or the wit to change the status quo.

    Hanson is thought by the less intelligent, to be bringing a note of change, but she votes almost without exception, with the capital side of the house, rather than utilising her “I’m listening” to make the changes she could make if she was worth a good goddam, but she isn’t. She isn’t worth a fart in a firestorm.

    NOTHING will change as long as we stay glued to our seats behind the screen, ranting pointlessly every time another political “leader” screws us over, as an electorate.

    March in March may have been badly organised, it may have been a lot of hot air, but in those few weeks, in spite of the effort of Der Fuhrer, Murdoch, it sure made people talk.

  3. helvityni

    “Essentially he is being told to either return back to an uncertain fate … or stay here and starve”.

    …it’s not a harsh enough place yet for some; let’s make Dutton our PM, so pleased that Hanson did her come-back; we need people of Dutton’s and Hanson’s calibre to make Oz a heaven on earth….

  4. king1394

    I fear Gazi’s story is representative of the injustices and contradictions of our current attitudes to refugees. And quite typically, people who know someone like Gazi are amazed and sorrowful. But the majority of people in this country seem to be happy to continue with a system that treats individuals so despicably, so long as they continue to believe that it keeps them safe

  5. babyjewels10

    I’m so sorry to read these examples of Dutton’s cruelty. It just goes on and on and I do not understand the attitude many have, that they somehow deserve it.

  6. Freethinker

    Where are the “Australian Values” the Malcolm and Dutton are talking about?
    Bugger! my Latin blood boils again, I need to go for walk with my dog.

  7. Kyran

    Regrettably, Mr Rahman is not alone.
    “At 9.38am on Sunday 21 May 2017, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton revealed his worst attack on refugees.
    He said asylum seekers living in the Australian community had until 1 October to file applications for protection, failing which they would be or they will be denied Government payments, subject to removal from Australia, and banned from re-entering the country. There are about 7,500 people in the community who are affected by this edict.”

    I am in awe of the various groups and individuals that have rallied to assist refugees complete the documentation that is both onerous and complicated. What is truly sickening is that this act of utter bastardry is being done in the name of Australian values. What are Australian values? As per this wretches own definition, contained in his ultimatum to those who have sought nothing other than sanctuary, as per their universal inalienable right as defined in the charter Australia once advocated;

    You must sign this statement if you are aged 18 years or over.
    I confirm that I have read, or had explained to me, information provided by the Australian Government on Australian society and values.
    I understand:
    • Australian society values respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual, freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law,
    Parliamentary democracy, equality of men and women and a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good;
    • Australian society values equality of opportunity for individuals, regardless of their race, religion or ethnic background;
    • the English language, as the national language, is an important unifying element of Australian society.”

    Dutton’s latest bit of nastiness

    From most of what I have read, it is highly unlikely that all of the 7,500 will be able to comply by the prescribed deadline. Many may well be unaware of their newly imposed obligations.
    Back in 2016, when various people were threatened with return to Manus and Nauru, including 37 babies, some churches offered sanctuary.

    “Anglican Dean of Brisbane the Reverend Dr Peter Catt said he was opening up St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane to the asylum seekers.
    “Many of us are at the end of our tether as a result of what seems like the Government’s intention to send children to Nauru,” Dr Catt said.
    “So we’re reinventing, or rediscovering, or reintroducing, the ancient concept of sanctuary as a last-ditch effort to offer some sense of hope to those who must be feeling incredibly hopeless.”
    ‘Sanctuary’ yet to be tested under Australian law
    Sanctuary is a historical concept and Dr Catt said he would happily risk being prosecuted for offering it.”

    Having absolutely no expectation of this woeful pack of bastards, and bearing in mind they don’t want any scrutiny of their acts of bastardry, it is yet to be seen how many Australians will demonstrate their values.
    “a spirit of egalitarianism that embraces mutual respect, tolerance, fair play and compassion for those in need and pursuit of the public good”.
    Good luck, Mr Rahman.
    Thank you Mr Davis and commenters. Take care

  8. helvityni

    Not many people here seem to care what happens to people like Gazi Rahman, sad. Bantering with trolls like Helen and/or Havana, seems to give any blog a boost…sigh.

  9. Kaye Lee

    “Not many people here seem to care what happens to people like Gazi Rahman, sad.”

    I admit to feeling despair at what we are doing to so many good people who just want a chance to live their lives in safety, contributing what they can to their community. I want to help but I don’t know how. I have attended protests, I have written to politicians, I have written articles for our small community here, I have collected clothes, utensils and furniture to give to refugees, and yet it seems I wake up every day to new bastardry by that idiot Dutton (and Morrison before him). I thank Keith for his continued advocacy. I am not giving up but I sometimes run out of words to describe the horror we are inflicting on innocent people who need our help.

  10. Roswell

    Not many people here seem to care what happens to people like Gazi Rahman, sad.

    I didn’t know anything about Gazi until I read this article. Has he received any coverage in the MSM? If yes or no, it was good to see this published here.

  11. Roswell

    By the way, helvityni, I went on a troll cull earlier today. We’ll be seeing less of a couple of them from now on. Long overdue.

  12. Jaquix

    Just forced myself to watch some of the TV coverage of the Liberal Party Conference, all patting themselves and each other on the back, full of how they are working hard every day for the good of all Australians and so forth. Have to say Dutton in the audience wasnt actually looking all that happy, probably hates that Turnbull is riding a tiny wave of Liberal Party happilness this week. When the conference is over they will all get in their Comm cars or pull out the travel allowance credit cards, and head home to their comfortable homes. Not one thought to spare for people like Gazi.

  13. Freethinker

    Jaquix, how you managed to go trough that pain?
    Do not tell me that you are masochist

  14. John

    20 people are newly displaced every minute of the day

    A UN report has shown that more than 65 million people were forced to leave their home countries last year, becoming refugees due to deadly conflict. The top nations from which refugees fled have one thing in common, they were all targets of US intervention.

    Global Trends – Forced displacement in 2016

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