Refugee advocates say they fear for the safety of two failed asylum seekers set to be deported to Afghanistan and Pakistan this weekend.
The ABC has obtained copies of the removal orders for the two detainees and has managed to talk to one of the asylum seekers who will be deported.
The two men have also been been invoiced for the cost of their deportations – one has been charged more than $20,000, including the airfares and accommodation of government-provided security escorts who will accompany him.
One of the men, who is being held in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, arrived in Australia by boat in 2010.
He says his family, which was originally from Afghanistan, now lives in the Pakistani city of Quetta.
The man, who is a Shiite, is due to be flown from Sydney to Islamabad on Saturday and says he fears for his safety in Pakistan because of sectarian attacks.
“If they send me back, I don’t think I have a future there and I don’t think I will be alive there,” he said.
“I feel very scared because it’s not safe for Shia Muslims. Everyday [there are] killings, everyday.
“I lost my brother there. I lost my cousin there. I lost my family members.”
The Immigration Department has ruled the two men are not genuine refugees, and they have exhausted all avenues available to them.
‘Fear is huge’
Australian Hazara Federation spokesman Hasan Ghulam says the situation is not safe in Afghanistan or Quetta, where many minority Shiites are sheltering.
“[In] Quetta, you know the fear is huge. It really send shiver into the spine of everyone, not just the Hazaras in the city of Quetta – to all Shiites around the globe,” he said.
The most recent attack in Quetta, which was less than a month ago, left dozens of Shiites dead.
Earlier this week 30 members of the Afghan parliament wrote a letter to the Federal Government, warning that it was not safe to send asylum seekers to the capital, Kabul.
The MPs say Afghan officials do not have the resources to provide basic security or services for any returnees.
Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul says last-minute efforts are being made to delay the two deportations.
“The removals teams are being notified of immigration decisions before the asylum seekers or their representatives, which of course doubles the vulnerability,” he said.
The Afghan and Australian governments signed a memorandum of understanding to allow the involuntary return of failed asylum seekers two years ago, but it is yet to be put to the test.
Some members of the Afghan government have disputed the details of the deal and say it only covers voluntary returns.
“It’s a huge concern that we are seeing such concerted attempts by the Immigration Department to send people back to countries they know are unsafe,” Mr Rintoul said.
The ABC’s PM program received a statement from a spokeswoman at the Department of Immigration.
“Australia does not return asylum seekers to their country of origin without fully assessing their claim for protection,” the statement read.
“Nor does Australia return people found not to be refugees, when this would contravene Australia’s international obligations under other human rights instruments.”