Man allegedly deported from Australia for carrying PrEP and sex toys

Man allegedly deported from Australia for carrying PrEP and sex toys

A man has allegedly been detained and deported by Australian Border Force after HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and sex toys were found in his luggage.

The German man, who cannot be named at this time, arrived in Cairns yesterday and was detained overnight before deportation this morning.

He had been required to leave and re-enter Australia in order to extend his tourist visa, which he had previously done earlier this year without incident.

When he arrived in Cairns he had been on holiday in Japan for a week, and was on the way back to Sydney where he lives with his partner.

“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,” the man’s partner told Star Observer.

His partner said Australian Border Force (ABF) refused to reveal where the man was being held, obstructed access to legal counsel, confiscated his phone and controlled his communications.

His partner understands, based on two conversations he was allowed to have with the man, that he was detained at the airport because of the PrEP and sex toys in his bag.

“ABF has not provided us any official statements,” he said.

“Any time we’ve made an enquiry they’ve shut us down in the name of the Privacy Act.

“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.”

His partner said that he believes the man was being intimidated during the period of detention.

“The few times I spoke to him he sounded scared, he sounded very isolated,” his partner said.

“He was very worried about being subject to further punitive legal actions… he was afraid he would never be able to re-enter the country if he didn’t comply and do things like hand over his phone.

“At no point was he advised he was entitled to legal representation… before a decision was made.”

The man was reportedly sent back to Japan this morning, with arrangements made for him to fly on to Germany.

“He’s not going to be in a good financial position, or emotional position, to contest any of this from Japan,” said his partner.

“I think he’s going to follow through with a decision just to carry on the journey back to Munich where at least he can be supported by friends and we can maybe figure out what our next step is there.”

Human rights advocate Sarah Smith, who usually works with refugees and humanitarian visas, stepped in to assist with the case.

“I routinely deal with ABF,” she said.

“I’m extremely concerned that this young man’s human rights have been infringed upon to this degree.”

Smith said she last night submitted a form 956, allowing her to act as the man’s representative and access the documents surrounding the incident, including any evidence against the man.

“We submitted that form, it was signed by me, [the man] received it and he signed it,” she said.

“From that point on, all of my contact with him was just rejected. I could not get through to him on the phone. 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’.”

Smith wanted the man to apply for a substantive visa, which would have allowed a three-day window to appeal any decision.

“They wouldn’t even allow him to apply for it,” she said.

“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.”

The couple have been together almost a year, and will now be apart for Christmas and their first anniversary.

The man has been living in Australia for over two years, and his partner said they had been exploring options such as a partner visa for him to stay permanently.

“We were waiting on the change of legislation,” said his partner.

“Part of me thinks if [marriage equality had been legislated faster] we may have been on some kind of partner visa now.”

His partner said he is “outraged and upset” over the man’s deportation and his alleged treatment.

“[ABF] strongly refutes any claims of discrimination in this matter,” said a spokesperson, according to Gay Star News.

“People who have previously breached their visa conditions, especially the ‘no work’ right condition, may have their visas cancelled upon arrival in Australia and may face removal. Those who arrive in Australia without the appropriate visa may be turned-around at the airport and returned home.

“Clients in an immigration detention facility are able to have contact with their legal advisor in line with departmental policy and procedures.”

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12 responses to “Man allegedly deported from Australia for carrying PrEP and sex toys”

  1. I sure hope questions will be asked of the Minister, shame that Parliament has finished sitting.
    Perhaps the local federal member should be contacted.
    Is there more behind this that we have not been informed of??

  2. There is always more to the story than what is shared. A partners visa was available prior to legislation change. The tourist visa is 3 months but can be offered a few times per year. So flying to Japan was the end of one tourist visa and the start of another. No issue with visas there. The only thing is the suspicion that he may be working as a sex worker on a tourist visa. This is why his phone was seized, to check for evidence. If no evidence was found, the prep and sex toys are not enough to deport.
    I find it difficult to understand why he would be denied legal representation or that legal representative was denied access to her client. If this is the case then it is a clear violation of rights.

    • Its standard procedure Dave, my partner was deported too and told she had no rights, and i knew that was standard because I have been involved in many other cases prior…
      You don’t get legal representation- you are locked in a room and interrogated and even if you are cleared, other officials can bring you back again for another round, and then you get taken to detention and you are only allowed one international call… by that stage its too late to do much and you are only allowed to appeal based on procedural fairness, not on how the decision was made or if it was made on incorrect assumptions (which is routine)

  3. If anyone thought for one nano-second that homophobia, discrimination, bigotry would magically disappear as a result of Same Gender Marriage becoming legal think again, boys and girls, just think again!.
    It is only going to get worse.
    It is 100% Legal for people to have PrEP and Sex Toys in Australia and most Western Countries.
    Isn’t the Australian Border Force (ABF) under Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s control? Enough said. Dutton along with Tony Abbott and until he found it was politically opportune to flip-flop Bill Shorten amongst the loudest in their opposition to Equality for ALL – and in particular for the GLTBIQ Community.
    The officer was probably simply obeying instructions from the top.
    The man should not have been expelled. He should have been given to opportunity to speak with a solicitor.
    Can anyone fond out the name of this ABF officer and his religious connections?
    We can then name and shame him.

    • Again with the Shorten nonsense. If Shorten was so loudly opposed to marriage equality as you keep claiming without substantiation, what do I Google to find some quotes of him saying so? When did he proclaim to oppose marriage equality, particularly as Labor leader which he’s been for over four years? Or will you once again refuse to substantiate this slur? Pathetic.

      Yes Rudd was opposed. Yes Gillard did too little. Stop blaming Shorten (and for that matter Penny Wong) for their shortcomings – it is ridiculous.

  4. I hope there is a case of discrimination to put the ABF back in it’s place! It thinks it’s above the law and human rights! It is disgraceful! These are people and he has done nothing wrong! There needs to be investigations into racism and homophobia in our “front line protection ” force! Makes me so mad!

  5. “ABF officers are incredibly racist and incredibly homophobic.”
    With Herr Dutton in charge it would have to be a prerequisite.

  6. Let’s face it. A visitor’s visa is 3 months and this guy had been here for 2 years. Refusal to let him re-enter had nothing to do with his luggage.

  7. The ABF have accused him of working on a non-work visa. They seem to be implying he’d been caught out before and that’s why he was targeted. The sex toys and PrEP are irrelevant. Scores of PrEP packages bought online from overseas suppliers make it through with no issues every day. Large numbers of gay men would be visiting Australia with their PrEP supply in their luggage by now. Its perfectly legal. He may or may not have suffered homophobic abuse but the beat up and click bait headlines on the sex toys and PrEP angle don’t add to the credibility. To make people nervous about bringing their PrEP is irresponsible.

  8. Please! Stop playing the victim card. This has nothing to do with homophobia or racism. The guy was exploiting a tourist visa, got caught, got deported. What did he think was going to happen? I’m sure it was a sad and frightening experience but I don’t believe this had anything to do with dildos, PrEP, sexuality or race. This would have happened in any country. Get the right visa!

  9. Hang on! You’re saying that even with legal representation this young man is still denied access to help?
    So let me get this right. He’s with a loving relationship with a caring partner, lived in Australia for two years, never had an issue before, has no criminal record, obviously has a healthy and active with a great partner open to introducing sex toys to bring in a bit of sexy kinkiness into their love life, and he is practising safe sex by using PrEP?

    So what the hell is ABF’s issue again?

    I pray that commonsense prevails and that this young man can be with his partner before this turns into an ugly case against ABF for discrimination and racism.

    I send my heartfelt condolence to the young men who have had their Christmas ruined by ignorance.

    I’m sorry this hrappened and your Christmas will be ruined.