Support Nima and Ashkan

Nima and Ashkan are two gay men who met and fell in love on Nauru, at the refugee detention centre, after arriving in Australia by boat over 7 years ago.

They have now found their way to Australia but need support to pay for daily living expenses and education/training until they can find a permanent home.  

After fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, Nima (23 years old, a lift technician from Iran) and Ashkan (20 years old, a painter and stateless Kurdish man) separately arrived by boat to Christmas Island only to be sent by the Australian Government to Nauru, where they faced violence and abuse in a country that still criminalised homosexuality at that time.

Advocates fought for years to free the couple, who suffered first in a detention centre and then lived in community detention on the island, where they faced physical attacks and bashings from the local community. It was only when Nima became so ill that he was close to death that lawyers were able to free the men to be sent for emergency medical treatment to Australia. Nima was hospitalised for over two months while Ashkan was detained at Villawood detention centre. 

Now in Australia they face life in limbo, without any possibility for residency here. The men hope to live in a country that accepts genuine refugees such as themselves. It is a time consuming, stressful and costly undertaking. 

Minister Dutton provided them a visa at the end of August 2020, but, at the same time, ended their accommodation and all government support.  Under their visa conditions, they can now work but cannot engage in training or education, they cannot volunteer and cannot settle here.  They have no government support at all. With limited English and covid, it is very scary again for the couple.

Rainbow Refugee Action, a Canberra based group are currently providing support with living expenses and temporary accommodation but it is difficult – they are a volunteer run group with limited funds.  This Go Fund Me campaign will directly donate to Nima and Ashkan to help the couple out with these expenses for the next couple of years and to help them settle once they've landed in a compassionate country.   

Ashkan is keen to train as a fitness instructor. In Australia, he has been teaching himself, and guiding Nima’s physical recovery.  Nima was a lift technician in Iran and dreams of going to university to study engineering. 

Nima said “Australia has taken eight years of our lives – we just want to be able to settle somewhere and start living our lives together.  We want proper jobs, to live in a house of our own, have a dog and a garden – just normal human things.”

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2016/05/21/victims-love-life-gay-refugee-nauru/14637528003272
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