Subject: ABC: East Timorese win permanent residency in NT

ABC

Last Update: Friday, August 20, 2004. 7:53am (AEST)

East Timorese win permanent residency in NT

Lawyers representing more than 60 East Timorese asylum seekers in Darwin say all but two of their clients have now been granted permanent residency.

A number of the asylum seekers have been in Darwin since 1990 but the process for granting residency was delayed until after East Timor's independence in 2002.

The Department of Immigration was not able to grant residency because of the changed circumstances.

Jenny Devlin from the Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission says the Immigration Minister was able to step in and grant residency.

"Most of our clients suffered torture and trauma and left East Timor in harrowing circumstances and than having to live for all of those years not knowing what their status was is obviously very stressful and difficult for them," she said.


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