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Kurd’s visa refused over war ‘crimes’

A man living in Perth has failed in a bid to win a refugee visa after a court heard he had worked as an informant for a notorious Turkish intelligence agency and was complicit in crimes against humanity.

In a recently released Federal Court judgment the man, known by the pseudonym MRWF, was refused a protection visa after he admitted to having supplied information to JITEM — a Turkish intelligence unit known for its killings and torture of Kurds.

The 50-year old Kurdish man came to Australia in 2010 on a student visa but sought refugee status claiming his work for JITEM and a family blood feud could see him killed if he returned.

The Home Affairs Department had refused him a protection visa, citing part of the Migration Act that forbids the issue of a refugee visa if the person has been linked to war crimes or crimes against humanity.

The court was told Home Affairs officials had concluded that while the man had not personally committed any acts of torture or murder, he had admitted to passing information to JITEM about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has fought a long and bloody campaign of liberation from Turkey.

Court documents show MRWF was initially employed as a conscription clerk in Jandarma, an arm of the Turkish Army.

His lawyers said he at first supported Turkey’s pursuit of the PKK, believing them to be a terrorist group, but he changed his mind when JITEM assumed control of Jandarma and began extra judicial killings of Kurds.

A decision last year by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal found MRWF would have been well aware that information he was gathering about Kurds would have been passed to JITEM and that MRWF and JITEM shared a common intent — the “eradication of all things PKK”.

The man claimed that once he became aware of JITEM’s use of killing and torture he restricted information he was giving up but the ATT held that he continued to work as informant.

The Federal Court rejected his appeal last month. His lawyer said he could seek special leave to appeal to the High Court to stay.

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