A man has allegedly been deported from Australia because PrEP and sex toys were found in his luggage at the border.
The German man had left Australia to holiday in Japan for a week and was flying back into Cairns in order to extend his tourist visa when he was detained overnight and deported yesterday.
The man lives in Sydney with his partner and had previously extended his tourist visa earlier in the year without any incident.
The man’s partner told Star Observer that the Australian Border Force (AFB) refused to reveal where the man was being detained, confiscated his phone, controlled his communications and obstructed access to legal counsel.
“It was upon re-entering Australia that he was intercepted by Border Force. They detained him for 24 hours and have put him on a plane since then,” he says.
After being allowed to speak to his partner twice, he understands that he was detained at the airport because of the PrEP and sex toys.
The Border Force has not given the partner any official statement.
“Any time we’ve made an enquiry they’ve shut us down in the name of the Privacy Act,” he says.
“My understanding is he was intercepted at Cairns. We suspect that there may have been some level of profiling about him being visibly gay.
“We believe they discovered his PrEP and sex toys in his luggage, and that exacerbated the profile they’d formed.
“At that point they confiscated his phone and took him into detention. They allege that he had violated the terms of his agreement, with the expectation that he was entering to do sex work.”
He believes that his partner was being intimidated by Border Force as he says he sounds scared and very isolated on the phone.
It is believed the man was flown back to Japan and arrangements have been made for him to fly on to Germany.
A Human Rights advocate is assisting with the man’s case and says she is extremely concerned that his human rights have been infringed upon to this degree.
The advocate, Sarah Smith, is now legally acting as the man’s representative however her contact with him after he signed a form to give her permission to do so was rejected.
“The officers guarding him refused to give me any answers as to his whereabouts.
“The next thing I heard from him, he rang me and said, ‘I’m at the airport, they’re about to put me on a plane’.”
The officers would not allow the man to apply for a substantive visa which would have given him a three-day window for an appeal.
She told Star Observer “This is very normal for ABF. I deal with deportations every week and it’s always the exact same behaviour.
“And that’s how I know that he was profiled for being… a visibly gay man.
“ABF officers are incredibly racist and incredibly homophobic. They routinely make homophobic remarks to their charges. There’s a real culture of thuggery.
“Without question it was a homophobic ABF officer who pulled him over to open up his suitcase, and then upon finding the sex toys and the PrEP, they’ve decided to detain him and seize his phone.”
Gay Star News reports that the Border Force “Strongly refutes any claims of discrimination in this matter.”