Detained man’s children appeal for his release

Thursday August 08, 2019 Written by Published in Local
From left, Tannielle, dad Edward McHugh, Teri, Geoff, mum Kaylene, and Zena in an old family photo. Suuplied/19080701 From left, Tannielle, dad Edward McHugh, Teri, Geoff, mum Kaylene, and Zena in an old family photo. Suuplied/19080701

Tannielle McHugh, daughter of detained Edward McHugh, says she feels helpless and all she can do is spread the word of her father’s unique case.

 

Tannielle, who is a full time university student, told Cook Islands News that she finds her father’s situation appalling.

She says Australia’s Department of Home Affairs should not have granted him an Australian passport in the first place if he was not a citizen by law.

“The Department of Home Affairs should have rejected his application and notified him of the changes of the adoption law,” says Tannielle.

Tannielle fears what might happen to her father if he is deported.

She says, “I fear that because of this situation, I will never get to see or spend time with my father ever again.

“I wanted him to be in our lives so that his grandchildren can live to know their grandad. I want to give my father the opportunity to grow old with his family.”
Edward, who has not left Australia since he was adopted at the age of six, says he will continue to fight for his release from the Sydney detention centre and to remain in Australia.

Despite the fact that he has lived in Australia for more than 40 years, the 50 year old now faces deportation after a conviction led to authorities to revoke his Australian passport.

Tannielle says no matter what, Edward is still her father, and she can only hope and pray that he will get through this fight to be released and remain in Australia.

Edward says he will have nowhere to go if he is forced to return to New Zealand or the Cook Islands.

Despite the lack of answers or hope from Australian Immigration, his children remain committed to their appeal for his release.

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