UPDATE (Dec 23, 2pm): Peter Dutton has announced that Hassan Asif’s family will now be granted visa to Australia to visit their son/brother.
A good decision
You may have heard the heart wrenching story of Hassan Asif today. A 24 year old student from Pakistan who has terminal cancer. His mother and brother have been refused visas to enter Australia, so that they can be with their son and brother, as he dies.
You can read the story here on ABC news.
This is dreadfully sad, and of course I am not privy to all the story. From the report, it sounds as though the family were denied because it was believed that they might out stay their visa time frame.
Tonight, I wrote this brief letter to our Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, asking him to reconsider the decision. Perhaps you might like to consider contacting Mr Turnbull or Mr Dutton also.
Dear Prime Minister,
I have heard of the extremely sad situation facing Mr Hassan Asif, and I am asking that we show compassion and grace to him and to his family, by allowing Mr Asif’s family to travel to Australia. No one should have to face death without being surrounded by loved ones. Sometimes this happens, but when the power is in our hands to avoid it, we have the moral imperative to act.
Perhaps there is reason behind declining visas to the family, but I am wondering whether we can show kindness to them, given the circumstances.
I am sure that there will be many Australians who will be willing to assist in bringing the family to Australia, and to caring for them while they are here.
Senior Minister, Mentone Baptist Church