London – As reported by SBS today, internationally acclaimed academic and Australian citizen, Professor Lukman Thalib, has revealed he was subject to an entry ban to Australia, which underlined the Australian authorities’ complicity in his abuse. Two days following his release from Qatari detention, where he and his son Ismail were subjected to sustained torture for five months in 2020, an entry ban known as a TEO (Temporary Exclusion Order) was issued against him by the Australian authorities. After their release serious questions surrounding Australia’s complicity in their detention and torture emerged.
Professor Thalib who now resides in Istanbul, still suffers from serious health complications as a result of his torture. The TEO, which can be imposed for a maximum of two years, denied Professor Thalib the right to return to his country as a free man and it is a continuation of the collective punishment he and his family have faced since his detention in Qatar. Now that the TEO has elapsed, he intends to return to Australia to complete his recovery and explore legal options to bring his abusers and those complicit in it to account.
The Thalib family strongly believe the arrests in Qatar, the subsequent tortured confessions, the interrogations in Sri Lanka, the arrest in Australia and the TEO are all tied and are a form of collective punishment on the family. 
Anas Mustapha, Head of Public Advocacy at CAGE said:
“The TEO issued against Professor Thalib flies in the face of fairness and due process principles. No evidence has ever been presented by the Australian authorities. It is right that Professor Thalib demands the Australian authorities to come clean about the extent they had been aware and complicit in his torture.”
“There are serious ongoing concerns that the confessions taken from Professor Lukman and his son Ismail during their incarceration and torture in Qatar have been used to criminalise his family.”
Professor Lukman Thalib said:
“I have dedicated all my life to medical research and have been a global leader in medical evidence synthesis, which assists doctors making daily life saving decisions on diagnosis and treatment. My life has always been an open book.”
“I am yet to recover from the shock of not receiving any support from the Australian government as a citizen. I was abducted, placed in a gas chamber and tortured. To my dismay not only was I left to the mercy of my captors but even after my release, I was denied justice and the right to return home by my government.”
“I was lost for words when I received news of the TEO. I am seeking closure and I will pursue every avenue to regain my fundamental rights as an Australian citizen and get to the bottom of what honestly feels like a sinister witch hunt against both myself and my family.”
Abdul Rashidi, solicitor representing Professor Lukman Thalib said:
“The Australian Government’s Temporary Exclusion Order against Dr Thalib, preventing his return home to Australia, infringed his human rights recognised under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
“It has been difficult to justify the Order against the world renowned Doctor who has not engaged or been found guilty of any criminal conduct in Australia or elsewhere.”
“We strongly support the repeated calls by the Australian Human Rights Commission for the TEO Act to be repealed.”
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)