Pakistani student Hassan Asif dies in Melbourne

07 Jan, 2016 1:24 pm

SYDNEY (92 News) – A Pakistani student Hassan Asif suffering from cancer has died surrounded by his family, who said they “lost hope” after initially being refused entry to Australia.

Pakistani international student Hassan Asif has died just over a week after his mother and brother were finally granted permission to come to Australia to see him.

Hassan Asif, 25, a student who had been receiving end-of-life care for skin cancer while studying in Australia, died at a Melbourne hospice.

Both Rameez and his mother were with Hassan when he died, Rameez said in a statement, and had been by his side since they arrived in Australia on December 29.

The family has invited members of the community who wish to pay respects to Hassan to his funeral service on Thursday, January 7 from midday at Preston Mosque. Attendees should wear modest clothing. Asif had been receiving outreach palliative care but recently moved to a specialist medical facility when his condition deteriorated.

He was too sick to fly home to Pakistan, where he had once hoped to return and begin work as an architect. He wished to spend his final days with his family, but the Australian High Commission initially rejected their visa applications.

The Department of Immigration said based on the information provided in their application, the pair were considered at risk of overstaying their visa.

Labor’s immigration spokesman Richard Marles last month described the decision as “disgraceful and heartless” and called on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene.

After a public outcry in Australia and overseas, the government asked Asif’s family to reapply for their visas, which included information about their finances and support from the local Pakistani community during their stay. The visas were then approved.

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