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A Palestinian refugee who was denied asylum in Australia and deported to Gaza reportedly has been murdered. Akram Al-Masri, 31, was incarcerated in one of Australia’s most notorious detention centers before being released in 2002 by a landmark order of the full bench of the Federal Court. Al-Masri, a father of four, later was deported back to the Gaza Strip, despite pleading with Australian authorities for a visa because he said he feared for his life. A Sydney-based refugee organization said he was shot dead Friday in the Gaza Strip by a rival Palestinian clan. It is unclear why he was murdered, but some believe it was because there was speculation that he was collaborating with the Israelis.

“It’s a tragic story that could have been prevented if we would have been a bit more humane to asylum seekers who have a case,” Jack Smith of Project SafeCom told ABC Radio The Woomera Detention Center in South Australia was shut down in 2003, and last week the new Labor government scrapped its predecessor’s hard-line policy of automatically detaining asylum seekers while their status is decided.

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