Hundreds being investigated in Australia - could lose citizenship
A recently formed intergovernmental body called, The Citizenship Loss Board has just started work on seeking to revoke the citizenship of hundreds of Australians, if it can be proven that they are involved in terrorist activities.
Immigration Minister, Mr Peter Dutton recently revealed that the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was carrying out more than 400 "high priority" investigations, including "190 people domestically that may be involved in supporting terrorist-type activities".
Mr Dutton told The Australian that more than 100 Australians who hold dual citizenships could potentially be subject to the cancellation. The Citizenship Act amendment which was passed last year only allows for the citizenship cancellation of dual nationals as Australia's international obligations mean it is unable to render a person stateless.
"To those people that are thinking, in particular young people, who are thinking about going to Syria or to another part of the world to conduct activities in the name of terrorism, in the name of ISIS, there is a very severe consequence to be paid," said Mr Dutton.
"This is a very significant piece of legislation that the Government negotiated through Parliament and over the coming months we will see individual cases considered and if people are dual nationals and they’ve been involved in terrorist activities, they have the potential to lose their Australian citizenship".
Writing in The Age recently, UNSW Law Professor, George Williams noted that the Citizenship Loss Board "operates in secret according to its own rules… can act on untested evidence and questionable information, including hearsay and information gained from a person subjected to duress and torture".
According to an ABC report, more than six million Australians were born overseas, and an estimated four or five million more were born here but hold dual citizenship. So, under this law, while the Citizenship Loss Board apparently focuses on radicalised individuals, the reality is that more than 10 million Australians are eligible to lose their citizenship. A summary of DIBPs citizenship cancellation guidelines is found here.