Senator Lee Rhiannon – Estimates question about the revocation of a visa for Bassem Tamimi

photo of Senator Lee Rhiannon
May 31, 2017

Questioned the reasons why a visa for Bassem Tamimi was granted and then revoked.

Did Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, a representative from the Australian Representative Office in Palestine or any departmental officer provide evidence or any advice that contributed to Mr Tamimi’s visa being revoked?

Whole interaction with Ms Frances Adamson (Secretary, DFAT) during Senate Estimates (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio).

Senator RHIANNON: I want to ask some questions that relate to incidents in the Middle East. On 4 April Australia granted Bassem Tamimi a visa. On 5 April the visa was revoked on the grounds that—and this is quoting from what he was sent: ‘There is a risk that members of the public will react adversely to your presence in Australia regarding your views of the ongoing political tensions in the Middle East.’ Did Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, a representative from the Australian Representative Office in Palestine or any departmental officer provide evidence or any advice that contributed to Mr Tamimi’s visa being revoked?

Ms Adamson : We have no knowledge of the matter that you have raised, which goes in the first instance to a visa question. You have asked a specific question as to whether there was any departmental role, so we will need to take that on notice.

Senator RHIANNON: There is nobody here with any knowledge of this incident?

Ms Adamson : No.

Senator RHIANNON: Okay, I will put all my questions on notice.

Link to full Hansard transcript.

Response provided by Ms Frances Adamson (Secretary, DFAT) on 1 June 2017.

We were asked whether DFAT had provided advice that contributed to the cancellation of Mr Bassem Tamimi’s visa. The answer is no. Any further questions on the cancellation of Mr Tamimi’s visa should be directed to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Link to full Hansard transcript.

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