The Government puts the safety and security of Australians as its highest priority.
Changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 were passed by Parliament to ensure Australians holding dual citizenship and fighting with terrorists could never again enjoy the privileges of being an Australian.
The Citizenship Loss Board, comprising senior officials from several government departments, law enforcement and security agencies, examined the requirements for cessation of Australian citizenship in relation to Mr Prakash, namely:
- that he had been in the service of a declared terrorist organisation, Islamic State
- that he satisfied age requirements as someone who is older than 14 years
- and that he was a citizen of another country
Mr Prakash’s case was brought to my attention after careful consideration by the Citizenship Loss Board that Mr Prakash’s Australian citizenship had ceased by virtue of his actions in fighting for Islamic State from May 2016.
Neither the Citizenship Loss Board nor I make decisions on whether an individual ceases to be an Australian citizen, as the provisions operate automatically by virtue of a person’s conduct.
The Government has been in close contact with the Government of Fiji since Mr Prakash was determined to have lost his citizenship.
Australia will continue our close cooperation with Fiji on this issue and the many other areas of mutual interest.
Mr Prakash is subject to lengthy legal processes in Turkey, including an Australian extradition request and separate terrorism charges in Turkey.
Mr Prakash is one of twelve dual citizen terrorists who have lost their Australian citizenship through their own despicable actions.
The Government will continue to review the cases of Australians known to be fighting for terrorist organisations to determine whether they have repudiated their allegiance to this country and in turn their Australian citizenship for those who are dual nationals.