A Sudanese government minister — whose behaviour towards a woman in Perth earlier this year prompted an apology from the country’s ambassador — has cancelled an appearance at a mining conference in Sydney.
- Sudan’s ambassador to Australia has apologised for the minister’s behaviour in September
- The minister is listed as a speaker for the International Mining and Resources Conference
- However, a spokesperson from the conference has confirmed he will not be attending
Sudan’s Minerals Minister Mohamed Bashir Abunammu was involved in a confrontation with Sudanese Australian activist Nazik Osman outside the Africa Down Under conference on September 1.
During the confrontation, which Ms Osman was live streaming on Facebook, the minister told Ms Osman in Sudanese Arabic: “If you weren’t here, we would beat you until you begged us to stop.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) told the ABC they were disappointed by the comments made by Mr Abunammu.
On September 14, following the ABC’s coverage of the incident, DFAT “conveyed concerns” about the minister’s comments to Sudan’s ambassador and advised that his behaviour was “unacceptable”, the spokesperson said.
“The ambassador provided an apology,” they said.
Mr Abunammu was due to return to Australia to speak at the International Mining and Resources Conference in Sydney today.
However, the DFAT spokesperson said Mr Abunammu would not be travelling to Australia.
Sudan’s embassy in Australia did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for the event confirmed to the ABC that Mr Abunammu would now not be attending.
“We can confirm he was due to speak in person on Friday as one of a number of presenters in the session, which will continue as planned,” the spokesperson said.
“We are not aware of his travel arrangements.”
The Department of Home Affairs would not confirm whether or not Mr Abunammu’s visa had been denied or cancelled, saying it would not comment on individual cases.
But a spokesperson said the government would continue to act decisively to protect the community from harm.
“The Australian government will continue to act decisively to protect the community from the risk of harm posed by individuals who choose to engage in criminal activity or behaviour of concern, including visa cancellation or refusal where appropriate,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson cited requirements of the Migration Act and Migration Regulations that all non-citizens who wish to enter or remain in Australia must satisfy “identity, health, security and character requirements”.
‘It’s good he’s not coming’
Sudanese Australian activist Nazik Osman, whose family fled Sudan as refugees just over two decades ago, welcomed news that the minister had cancelled his appearance at the conference.
“It’s good he’s not coming to Australia but still there are representatives from the criminal regime of Sudan that are coming,” Ms Osman told the ABC.
“I don’t feel Australia should welcome such people.”
Ms Osman’s husband was at one point designated an “international prisoner of conscience” by human rights organisation Amnesty International while he was being held by the government in Sudan.
She said she believed the minister represented a threat to the safety of Australian citizens and should not be allowed in the country.
“His behaviour towards me demonstrates a complete lack of regard for the safety and security of people like me,” she said.
“We also call on the Australian government to investigate the interference of Sudanese authorities in Australian Sudanese communities.”
Ms Osman added that she was disappointed the Australian government had not told her the ambassador had apologised.
“As an Australian citizen, the Australian government should let me know about this,” she said.
“This is my right to know, but I will not deal with the [Sudanese] embassy in Canberra.”
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Publish date : 2022-11-03 20:28:25