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Fleeing Iran After Sexual Abuse, This High School Girl Is About To Be Deported From Australia

"A school girl, not a criminal."

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Iranian refugee Mojgan Shamsalipoor is in a Darwin detention center awaiting her deportation.

The 21-year-old student of Yeronga State High School has spent the last month in the Darwin-based processing center despite her claims for asylum.

Shamsalipoor fled Iran in 2012, claiming that she was repeatedly raped and tortured. She left Iran with her brother after being told she would have to marry a man in his late 50s if she ever wanted to see her mother again.

Shamsalipoor was three months from graduating high school when she was placed back in detention by immigration officials in early August.


Her classmates have since rallied behind her, forming a Facebook page and organising several protests.

Mojgan married Milad Jafari in December of 2012. Milad is spearheading the campaign to have Australia's Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, grant his wife a visa.


Currently, Shamsalipoor would need to return to Iran to apply for a partner visa unless Dutton allows her to apply for it whilst in detention.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News, Milad said that his wife's forced detention was abrupt and emotional.

"She spent eight months in the Brisbane Detention Center, going to school from it. She was doing year 12, following her study and working hard to finish high school and become a midwife."

"In that eight months I was always in Brisbane, seeing her every day. On the morning of the 7th of August she was going to go to school, but then they said 'nobody is going to school today.' They had a lockdown of the detention center. I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye."

The students at Shamsalipoor's high school have been supportive of Milad, but he is still left with few answers to his many questions.

"They didn't tell me anything. Nothing. The only thing I knew was that she was going to Darwin because that is where everyone was being sent."

"I wasn't told a reason about why she was leaving. They said to me if you don't leave the detention center we are going to call the police."

"The teacher had a meeting, they were in tears."

"She is just trying to be a part of the Australian community."

Earlier this week a statement from Shamsalipoor was shared, chronicling her time in detention.

Facebook: permalink.php

"I will cry if I talk too much..." the statement reads.

"I feel there are my family supporting me. When I am reading all the cards from people, I feel good things for me - more hope, more [sic] stronger - because there are lots of beautiful people behind me, caring for me like my family."

"I don't know how to handle this much love and say thanks and appreciate it."

"Now, in detention, which is a sad, dark place, I only see light. I look and see colour."

"When I was outside, before detention here, I didn't always smile. i would waste my time. I wasn't good enough. I could have lost myself down the wrong path. Now I will not. now I am growing up."

For now, Shamsalipoor and Milad are waiting for a response from Immigration Minister Dutton's office, pleading for permission to apply for a partnership visa whilst Shamsalipoor is still in Australia.

AAP Image / Mick Tsikas

"We are asking Mr. Dutton to allow us to apply for a partnership visa on shore - so she doesn't have to be sent back to Iran to apply."

"It is extremely dangerous for her to go back. Why aren't we allowed to apply for a partnership visa in Australia?"

"I love her, deeply, so much," says Milad. "I cannot think to live without her. She's part of me."

"We are two people in one soul."

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's office did not respond when asked for comment by BuzzFeed News.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at

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