Sydney family in desperate fight to get adopted son out of Afghanistan

© Provided by ABC NEWS Faiz, seated third from the right, was unable to join his family when they migrated to Australia from Afghanistan in 2017. (Supplied)

Ismail and Laila* Akbari call their son every day to confirm he is alive.

Their eldest boy, Faiz*, is trapped and alone in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul. He is 16.

“We’ve warned him not to come out of the house because of the danger that he’s facing,” Mr Akbari said.

“We are fearing the Taliban. If they see him or identify him, he might be targeted.”

The family are part of the Hazara community, an ethnic group the Taliban — who stormed Kabul on August 15 —have pursued and persecuted.

Mr Akbari arrived in Australia by boat in 2010, and after spending time in various detention centres he began the legal process to try and bring his family over.

In 2017, Laila Akbari was granted a partner visa and all but one of her children were considered dependants.

Faiz, who is adopted at birth, was refused entry to Australia.

Director of the Sydney-based Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC) Gregory Rohan, said the family’s circumstances were “unique”.

“They raised him since he was born, his mother died at childbirth, so he is their son and under Australian immigration law he is recognised as their son,” Mr Rohan said.

“Somehow this visa was refused, [due to] a failure to recognise the relationship between the child and his family, and on this basis the visa was refused.

“That’s what created this terrible, terrible situation for the family.”

Laila made the difficult decision to accept the visa and move to Australia with her other six children, in the hope she could have his visa ruling rectified soon after.

“The family is just devastated and everyday it brings something new to amplify their grief, the boy’s mother is just so wracked with guilt about the decisions they’ve made,” Mr Rohan said.

“I think a decision we would all absolutely struggle with making, she would put her own life on the line to go back to Kabul to be with him if she could.”

The teenager had been living with extended family up until late last year, but they too have since managed to escape the war-torn country.

For nearly five years, his parents have been fighting to get him a visa so he can join them in Australia.

“I have pain in my heart and my family is affected by this situation,” Mr Akbari said.

“I cannot put my feelings into words, I just wish to be reunited with my son.”

IARC began assisting the family with the legal process more than a year ago but have made little progress.

Mr Rohan said “for the most part there has been no response” from the Department of Home Affairs.

“We reached out to MPs and asked for some help in intervening in the case and they’ve made representations for us that finally resulted in contact from the Department of Home Affairs asking me for additional paperwork to prove that I was their lawyer.

“That’s the extent of the response we’ve received.”

In a statement to the ABC, a government spokesperson said the Department of Home Affairs “does not comment on individual cases.”

“The Australian Government announced on 18 August 2021 that Afghan citizens will be prioritised for processing within Australia’s offshore Humanitarian Program,” the statement said.

“Particular priority will be given to persecuted minorities, women and children and those who have links to Australia.”

But Faiz’s parents feel “let down” by the Australian government and say the lengthy process has affected their mental health.

“I’m tired of this process, I’ve approached different organisations for help but it has taken so long and it’s come to this now [that] my wife is feeling half [of] herself is here and half is in Afghanistan,” Mr Akbari said.

In October 2001, Australia joined the United States-led war in Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power and fight al-Qaeda forces in the country.

The Australian Defence Force had a military presence there for two decades.

But the Akbari family now fears it is too late to rescue their son after Australia’s evacuation mission ended abruptly in late August due to security concerns.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the work of the defence force after they successfully retrieved 4,100 people, including Australians and Afghan nationals with Australian visas.

“The government is working to ensure that visa options continue to be available to Afghan nationals, both within Afghanistan and those displaced from their home country, through Australia’s long-standing Humanitarian and Migration Programs,” a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said.

The family isn’t giving up and hope Faiz will now be prioritised by government authorities.

“We’re going to keep fighting to get this visa, for this boy, that he’s entitled to have under the law,” Mr Rohan said.

“This is a child that’s alone in Kabul, it’s almost unimaginable.

“At the moment we’re focusing on what we can, which is to try to get the Australian government to issue this visa, so that if the opportunity does come up to get out somehow, that he’s got a visa, he can come to Australia and be with his family.”

* The names of several people in this story have been changed to protect their identity.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Hi-tech fingerprint scanner to help solve crimes in Dubai

© Provided by The National The new device to lift and identify fingerprints. Photo: Dubai Police Forensic experts at Dubai Police have developed a smart device to scan fingerprints at ... Read more »

Biden remembers Powell as a friend, patriot, and 'a good man'

President Biden on Monday paid tribute to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who died due to complications from COVID-19, noting his many accomplishments and patriotism that “earned him the ... Read more »

Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump in 2024 because 'elections are about winning'

© AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana. AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite GOP Sen. Bill Cassidy said he wouldn’t vote for Trump if he runs for reelection in ... Read more »

Alabama Woman Charged with Child Abuse in Connection to Beating Death of Stepdaughter, 3, After Victim's Father Arrested for Murder

An Alabama woman and stepmother of a 3-year-old girl was charged in connection with the child’s death, according to police. © Provided by Law & Crime Haley Metz (L) and ... Read more »

Biden team asks Supreme Court to pause Texas abortion law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is asking the Supreme Court to block the Texas law banning most abortions, while the fight over the measure’s validity plays out in the ... Read more »

'Fake heiress' Anna Sorokin has been jailed by ICE for 7 months with her immigration status in limbo

© Steven Hirsch/New York Post via AP Anna Sorokin arrives for sentencing at New York State Supreme Court, in New York, Thursday, May 9, 2019. Steven Hirsch/New York Post via ... Read more »

Female writer awarded prestigious literary prize turns out to be three men

It’s one of the biggest literary plot twists of the year. © Provided by Washington Examiner During the Planeta awards in Spain, author Carmen Mola was announced as the winner ... Read more »

What It Means If You Have Heel Pain When Walking

Do you feel a nagging pain in your heels while walking? You’re not alone. Though the exact prevalence of foot pain is hard to pinpoint due to the wide range ... Read more »

Last 20-degree day of the year coming to Ontario this week?

Warmer than normal temperatures have dominated much October so far across Ontario, with even blasts of late summer-like heat bringing back the humidity and thunderstorm threats. Now, as we officially ... Read more »

Witness concerned by Berejiklian conflict

Day one of a corruption inquiry into Gladys Berejiklian has heard a senior NSW public servant considers her relationship with disgraced former MP Daryl Maguire – which he did not ... Read more »

Federation fracturing in pandemic: survey

Almost two-thirds of Australians believe federal and state governments have failed to work well together during the coronavirus pandemic. © Alex Ellinghausen/AAP PHOTOS A new poll has found 64 per ... Read more »

UK bond yields soar as investors brace for interest rate rise; China's growth slows – as it happened

LIVE – Updated at 16:50 © Photograph: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/REX/Shutterstock Queen’s Walk promenade past the City of London skyline on a clear day. Rolling coverage of the latest economic and ... Read more »

Fayette County deputy constable arrested on sexual abuse charges

A Fayette County deputy constable has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse after a woman says he forcibly kissed her, smacked her behind and sent her unwanted text messages ... Read more »

Raj Thackeray gets into Hindutva mode, meets Hindu seers from UP

© Provided by Hindustan Times The two seers from Uttar Pradesh who go by the name of Guru Ma Kanchan Giriji and Jagatguru Suryacharaji met Raj Thackeray for an hour ... Read more »

Schiedsrichter-Chef gibt gleich drei Fehlentscheide zu und ärgert sich

Gegen Luzern schiesst Meister YB ein Tor, das fälschlicherweise aberkannt wird. Darüber ärgert sich Schiedsrichter-Chef Daniel Wermelinger – genau so wie über zwei Entscheide bei St. Gallen gegen Servette. Hier ... Read more »

33 juveniles escaped from remand home: Nine still on run

© Provided by Hindustan Times On Friday evening, 33 juveniles went on the rampage at the remand home. (HT PHOTO) Nine out of 33 juveniles, who escaped from Aurangabad remand home ... Read more »

Review: Elton John taps some talented friends for new album

This cover image released by Interscope Records shows “The Lockdown Sessions” by Elton John. (Interscope Records via AP) “The Lockdown Sessions,” Elton John (Interscope Records) It's been more than 35 ... Read more »

Beware! Bitcoin fraudsters hacking iPhones via Tinder, Bumble

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: According to a new analysis by cybersecurity firm Sophos Research, cryptocurrency scammers are targeting iPhone users across three continents via popular dating applications ... Read more »

Woman who stabbed husband to death called police two months prior, court told

A retired accountant who stabbed her husband to death called police two months before the killing to report that he had grabbed and threatened her with a poker, a jury ... Read more »

Briton who said he was abducted 'staged it,' his 'captors' claim

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo A British man who claimed he was held hostage and tortured by a gang in Italy has been accused by his alleged captors ... Read more »

Surface Duo 2 is the most anticipated gadget among our readers in Techtober

© Windows Central Surface Duo 2 Hero The Surface Duo 2 continues to be the ̶a̶p̶p̶l̶e̶ Surface of our readers’ eyes. What you need to know Google, Microsoft, Apple, and ... Read more »

Musselburgh: Man allegedly returns to site of East Lothian altercation after collecting a weapon

© Musselburgh: Man returns causes disturbance as he returns to site of altercation after collecting a … Around 12.45 pm on Sunday, a disturbance reportedly took place opposite Boots Pharmacy ... Read more »

Facebook to hire 10,000 in EU in metaverse push

The nature of the metaverse will reportedly require highly skilled employees. AFP via Getty Images Facebook said it plans to hire 10,000 workers in the European Union over the next ... Read more »

Covid vaccine passports: Why you should download the NHS Scotland Covid Status app today – Angus Robertson MSP

© Downloading Scotland’s Covid passport app is easy, says Angus Robertson (Picture: Ewan Bootman/NurPh… The scheme has been introduced for larger events, like some football matches and nightclubs, and venues ... Read more »

Netflix's ‘Squid Game' Brings in Nearly $900M – Is It a Good Time to Invest?

© Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock / Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/Shutterstock (12536579a)Squid Game series logo displayed on a phone screen and Netflix website displayed on a laptop screen are ... Read more »

Alleviate Sore Muscles With a Shoulder and Neck Massager

© Licensed from Adobe The neck and shoulders carry a lot of weight, both literally and figuratively. When we’re stressed or anxious, we often tense our neck muscles and raise ... Read more »

Call for referendum to give adopted children more rights to find out about their origins

A call has been made for a referendum on information rights and privacy for children who have been separated from their parents and families.TDs and senators on the Oireachtas Children’s ... Read more »

Mark Cuban says that bitcoin will be 'the safe haven of crypto' with one 'huge advantage'

© Provided by CNBC To billionaire investor Mark Cuban, bitcoin has a major edge over other cryptocurrencies. It has “a HUGE advantage” in that it has “ZERO competition” as a ... Read more »

UK falling behind on hydrogen technology, as Ineos prioritises European expansion

© Getty A large flame and dark smoke rising from a flare stack at Grangemouth oil refinery and petrochemical plant in Scotland – Getty Petrochemicals tycoon Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the ... Read more »

‘I'm a Cardiologist and These Are the Quick Workouts I Swear by for a Midday Boost'

Your midday activities can make or break your energy levels for the rest of the day. While many things can help give you an energy boost, not all of them ... Read more »

Sinclair Broadcast Group hit by ransomware attack

Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the nation’s largest television station operators, announced Monday that it had been hit by a ransomware attack over the weekend that resulted in data theft ... Read more »

Is hurricane season dead? Or could La Niña help provide one last punch

As we get into the latter part of the busiest three-month period of hurricane season (August, September, October), can we start to take a deep breath and exhale? © CNN ... Read more »

Venezuela envoy Alex Saab to be arraigned in U.S. court on money laundering charges

© Reuters/LEONARDO FERNANDEZ VILORIA Wife of extradited Venezuelan envoy Saab addresses the media in Caracas (Reuters) – Alex Saab, a businessman accused of laundering money on behalf of Venezuela’s government, ... Read more »

Belarus Kicks Out French Ambassador After EU Fails to Recognize Lukashenko's Re-election

Belarus has ordered French Ambassador Nicolas de Lacoste to leave the country as France and the European Union continue to fail to recognize Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s re-election victory last ... Read more »

Nuclear power too costly, too slow, so it's zero use to Australia's emissions plan

The catch-22 of nuclear power in Australia is that you would only consider it if you wanted to reduce emissions because of climate change, but if you agree climate change ... Read more »

Covid: UK daily cases soar to nearly 50,000 – highest in three months

© Independent Breaking News The UK has recorded nearly 50,000 new coronavirus infections, marking the largest daily rise since lockdown rules ended in England three months ago. For the sixth ... Read more »