Friday, May 13, 2005

Wrongly Deported Woman

As an Australian citizen, I thought to bring your attention to the case of a wrongly deported woman from Australia in 2001. The woman has a 9-year-old son who now lives in foster care in Queensland.

CathNews reported:

An Australian priest working in a diocese east of Manila has revealed the location of a wrongly deported woman whom Australian authorities believed was "missing".

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that social workers who visited her yesterday in the Missionaries of Charity institution in the city of Olongapao said she was terrified authorities would arrest her and put her in jail again.

Authorities, and human rights activist Columbian Fr Shay Cullen, claimed she was mentally disturbed, but the priest who "found" her - Fr Mike Duffin - believes she is "she's a very quiet woman, very soft spoken and very very sane".
Fr Duffin, who works at St Vincent's Catholic Church in the Olongapo, said he was surprised Australian officials did not know where Ms Solon was, because they had told her she was going to a convent before she was deported.

"I find that very, very hard to believe when they were the ones who told her before she left," he told the ABC.
"Australian consular officials are being dispatched to the region overnight to ensure that if, in fact, the woman is the Ms Alvarez [Ms Solon] who was removed from Australia, all appropriate consular assistance can be offered to her first thing in the morning," Senator Vanstone said.

"This will obviously include an offer to facilitate her return to Australia, if that is her wish, and appropriate support in Australia."


I hope she reunites with her son very soon.


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