A nurse from Peel Health Campus has been deported after Border Protection officers questioned him over a “peace tour” to Syria.
Warren Marriner, who had been living in Australia for 11 years, was detained and then deported to New Zealand over the weekend for failing to disclose a 30-year-old drug conviction.
However, the conviction only came to light after Mr Marriner was questioned over a tour to war-torn Syria organised by Sydney activist Jamal Daoud, were he met Syrian officials and clerics.
Mr Marriner, a self-proclaimed communist and supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian regime, told media in New Zealand he was glad to be home.
“I was quite disappointed at the start when they said, ‘your visa’s been revoked’, but then I thought, hmmm okay,” he said.
“Luckily, I’ve got my two brothers over there; they’re going to sort out everything for me, but basically I’ve just packed up and left 11 years of my life, just gone.”
Mr Daoud said he was exploring ways to have Mr Marriner returned to Australia.
“Australian authorities are sending wrong messages to all directions by arresting NZ peace activist Warren Marriner, who was living in WA for decades, upon his return from our solidarity visit to Syria,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
“Even before his departure, Warren was visited by AFP [Australian Federal Police] and was interrogated about his motive to participate in the tour.”
Mr Marriner and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been contacted for comment.