Aussie celebrities give their voice to Freedom4Ali campaign

Some of Australia’s most well known stars have come together to call for the release of Ali*, a gay refugee detained in Australia for over eight years.

Spiderman and Crazy Rich Asians star Remy Hii joins Australians Kat Stewart, Brooke Satchwell and Bruce Spence in a powerful new video telling Ali’s story. They stand alongside TV stalwarts Susie Yousef, Benjamin Law, Randy, Anthony Brandon Wong, Fiona Choi, Wentworth stars Zoe Terakes, Kate Atkinson & Kate Jenkinson, and many more.

Ali is a gay man from the Middle East. When he and his lover were found together, Ali was stabbed in a violent attack. Local militia became involved and his family was threatened. Ali fled to Australia believing he would be safe here. Instead, he was locked up.

For the past eight years, he has been in immigration detention, where he feels almost as unsafe as he was in his country of origin.

Now, over a dozen high-profile Australians have signed on to the #Freedom4Ali campaign, lending their voices to a powerful new video. In it, they tell Ali’s story, in his own words, and call on Australians to join the movement to free Ali.

Alison Battisson is Ali’s lawyer and Director Principal of Human Rights For All. Battisson knows Ali has family living in Australia who could support him but says the Minister has so far refused to consider his claim to asylum as a gay man fleeing violent persecution.

“Inside detention, Ali has no support,’ Battisson said. “To come out as someone who is LGBTIQ in a place like immigration detention comes with the risk of assault, harassment, or worse.  LGBTIQ people are often shunned in detention, and live in fear of being outed to their families, friends and communities.

“To date, the Department of Home Affairs refuses to reopen Ali’s case. He sits in limbo, as he cannot be returned to his country of origin where he will face violence and persecution,” Battisson said.

The #Freedom4Ali campaign is calling on Australians to sign their petition. So far just under 10,000 people have added their names.

Source: Media Release *names have been changed for safety reasons. 

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