Court blocks Australia from deporting Tamil toddlers AFP, Melbourne

Court blocks Australia from deporting Tamil toddlers AFP, Melbourne”

The household's neighbours from rural Queensland have campaigned for them to remain.

"At that point contact was lost again, and it wasn't until almost 2am AEST that contact was re-established with the family once they arrived at the Christmas Island detention centre".

The plane then landed in Darwin, around 2.00am yesterday morning (Friday August 30), and the family were moved to a hotel nearby.

The Department of Home Affairs said the family had been comprehensively assessed a number of times and had consistently been found not to be genuine refugees.

"I don't really understand the motive of the Christmas Island move given that there are many other functioning detention centres in Australia, on the mainland", she said.

Moving detainees without warning isn't unusual, but "the transfer to Christmas Island is not normal", Ms Ford said.

The Department of Home Affairs has refused to confirm the location of the family, saying it would be inappropriate as the matter is before the courts.

Thousands of Australians rallied across the country on Sunday in the hope of saving the asylum seeker family from deportation.

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The 2 ladies, Kopika, aged 4, and Tharunicca, aged two, have been born in Australia however do not need citizenship.

They had arranged lawyers in Darwin to assist with that over the weekend. "They are in real danger if deported back to Sri Lanka", Refugee Action Collective's Chris Breen said.

But Federal Court Judge Mordy Bromberg on Friday extended an injunction, initially issued Thursday night, after lawyers for the family argued Priya and Nades' two-year-old daughter Tharunicaa had never had her claim assessed.

"This is the second flight in as many days under the cover of darkness, taking this family even further away from the support of the community that loves them", family friend Rebekah Holt said.

Priya said Border Force officials initially took the family's phones and there was "no freedom" within the centre.

A Melbourne court ordered the government not to expel the youngest child until a further hearing on Wednesday.

"I would like the family to accept that they are not refugees, they're not owed protection by our country", Dutton told local media on Friday.

The family's legal team say only Tharunicaa is protected under the injunction and the rest of her family could be legally deported, but their lawyer Carina Ford said Australia would be condemned if the family was split up.

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