Passport denied to Aussie in danger wanting to come home


AN AUSTRALIAN man hoping to return home from an Iraqi refugee camp under threat from IS has been denied a new passport.

Renas Lelikan, who holds both Turkish and Australian citizenship, was refused the passport on national security grounds, Channel 7 reported.

Mr Lelikan's original passport was confiscated by French authorities after he was convicted in 2011 of associations with the Kurdish PKK militant group. Given a three-year suspended sentence, he fled the country.

He maintains he is a journalist.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian Government did not want citizens participating on either side of the conflict in Syria and Iraq.

"The government will apply our robust national security laws equally to any Australian supporting terrorism or a terrorist organisation," a spokesman said.

Earlier this month, Mr Lelikan told the ABC the camp where he had been living for several months was under attack "every week, sometimes twice a week".

The PKK, along with IS and several other militant groups operating in the region, has been listed as an official terrorist group by Australia.

Mr Lelikan said he posed no risk to Australia and described the decision to deny him a passport as laughable.

Topics:  australia editors picks iraq islamic state terrorism

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