ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Five former dual nationals have been stripped of their Australian citizenship due to their links with the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group abroad, said a government minister on Thursday.
In total, six people so far have lost their citizenship since a provision added to the nation's immigration law in 2015 that allows dual nationals to lose their citizenship rights for actions contrary to their allegiance to Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said, quoted by AP.
“I can confirm that five more individuals have ceased to be Australian citizens because of their involvement with Islamic State offshore,” Dutton said in a statement.
Three of the five former Australian nationals were men, and the others were women who had traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the jihadist group, according to Daily Telegraph newspaper in Sydney. Government officials offered no further details regarding when and how the five nationals traveled to the two Middle Eastern countries, and when their Australian citizenship was officially revoked.
According to reporting by ABC, all are in their 20s and 30s, the process began when intelligence agencies began to investigate them in 2017, and they might not yet even be aware that they no longer hold Australian citizenship.
“We’ve arrived at a position now where it’s clear through their own conduct these people have renounced their Australian citizenship. They don’t deserve to be Australian citizens and in our judgment, they would pose a great threat if they were to return to Australia,” Dutton told ABC.
According to Section 35 of the Australian Citizenship Act, a dual national’s Australian citizenship can be automatically revoked if they engage in terrorism-related conduct.
The law includes those who fight for any terrorist organizations overseas, including IS. “It is opposed to Australia, its people and its democratic rights and privileges,” Dutton said in a statement.
“The government is determined to deal with foreign terrorist fighters as far from our shores as possible."
Editing by John J. Catherine