decided to flee the country. He was unable to use his passport because of the
summons and therefore used his older brother's passport. After his departure
the military allegedly visited his home.
2.5 On 10 December 1997, the complainant arrived in Australia without valid
travel documents and was detained pending final resolution of his asylum
claims. On 12 December 1997, he filed an application for a protection visa
(refugee status) with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
(the DIMA). In support of his application, he submitted, inter alia, the
following: a letter from the Umma party confirming his membership; a letter
from the Commander of the Popular Forces to the Manager of the Department
of Prisons to release the complaina nt and present himself to the PDF ; and a
statement from a member of the Australian Sudanese community who stated
that she had no doubt that the complainant was a Sudanese citizen and
belonged to a family known to be strong supporters of the Ansar group, which
supports the Umma party.
2.6 On 5 January 1998, a delegate of the DIMA denied the complainant’s
application for a protection visa, finding that he was not a citizen of Sudan
and that his claims lacked credibility. On 5 February 1998, the complainant
sought administrative review of the delegate’s decision before the Refugee
Review Tribunal (the RRT). By decision of 7 July 1998, the RRT refused the
complainant’s application. The complainant lodged an application for judicial
review with the Federal Court of Australia. On 25 August 1998, the Court
remitted the application back to the RRT for a second determination.
2.7 On 25 November 1998, the newly constituted RRT denied the
complainant’s application. The matter was appealed to the Federal Court, at
which the complainant was unrepresented. During the hearing, he said that the
interpreter who had assisted him at the RRT hearing was inadequate and that
he had been misunderstood. The hearing was adjourned so that the
complainant could obtain legal representation. On 9 August 1999, the Federal
Court dismissed the appeal. Several subsequent requests for Ministerial
intervention were denied.