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Tamil asylum seeker abruptly transferred back to Christmas Island

Priya Murugappan, a Tamil asylum seeker detained by the Australian government who was urgently evacuated to Perth for urgent medical treatment, was unexpectedly transferred back to Christmas Island without any prior notice on Wednesday.

Mrs Murugappam had called the Tamil Refugee Council on Wednesday in distress when border force guards suddenly arrived to take her to the airport.

"I could hear she was in distress, and all of a sudden the phone hung up," said Mr Mylvaganam, member of the Tamil Refugee Council.

According to her friends, initially Priya was supposed to be discharged on Wednesday 29th July and fly back to Christmas Island on Friday 31st July.

Carina Ford, Priya’s lawyer had enquired about the whereabouts of Priya, however she was notified of the impromptu return by the Australian government much later in the day.

"We have finally just received confirmation she's on her way to Christmas Island. Why they couldn't have given that to us two hours ago, I don't know. It's better than her being sent back to Sri Lanka" stated Carina Ford.

Priya and her husband Nades Murugappan and their two Australian born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa have been detained in Melbourne since March 2018. Despite human rights abuses such as torture and extra-judicial killings in Sri Lanka, the Australian authorities have repetitively alleged that the family is not eligible for protected status.

An effort to deport the family back to Sri Lanka last August was averted due to an order from the Federal Court. The family have been supported by the local community of Biloela, the small Queensland town where they lived, since the beginning of the dispute. The community have been fundraising for the family and carrying out political campaigns calling to ‘bring them home to Biloela’.

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