LET THEM STAY: Iranian asylum seeker Shamsullah Piri and his son, Ryan. Picture: Dominic Elsome
LET THEM STAY: Iranian asylum seeker Shamsullah Piri and his son, Ryan. Picture: Dominic Elsome

Gatton asylum seekers’ visa rejected, fear Iran death penalty

A KURDISH family in Gatton facing deportation is making a last-ditch effort to stay in Australia for fear of what would happen if they were returned to Iran.

Shamsullah Piri and his wife Zainab are Kurdish Iranians who arrived by boat to Australia in August 2012, and have been living in the Gatton community since on a bridging visa.

Their application for a temporary protection visa was rejected last year, and the family asked then home affairs minister Peter Dutton to intervene.

It didn't happen.

Their bridging visa runs out this week, and the family fear they could face persecution and even death were they to return.

Since arriving in Australia, Shamsullah and Zainab have welcomed their two young boys, four-year-old Ryan and two-year-old Liam.

Zainab has also converted to Christianity, an action that attracts the death penalty in Iran.

Supporter of the family and Lockyer Valley Multicultural Association president Margaret Cole started a petition calling for their protection claims to be reconsidered.

"The situation is still pretty dire," Ms Cole said.

The family spoke to the Gatton Star in June last year, and Zainab spoke of her fears of being returned to the country where she was unable to even walk down the street with her husband, as they do not have a marriage certificate.

"If they send me back, I know they (Iran's government) will kill me. It's easy for them," Zainab said.

Despite the threat of being returned to Iran, Ms Cole said the family was trying to stay positive.

"They're reasonably positive at the moment they're not they're not to down," she said.

"They've been through worse times, put it that way."

She said both Ryan and Liam were in kindy, and the family had become part of Gatton.

"They're making positive moves to fit into the community," she said.

Shamsullah works on farms in the region to support his family, but when the bridging visa ends, he'll no longer be able to work.

Ms Cole is calling for the community to show their support for the family and sign the petition calling for them to stay.

"I would like more signatures on the petition," she said.

To sign the petition, go to https://www.aph.gov.au/petition_list?id=EN1232