A 60-something refugee advocate has married a 31-year-old Manus Island asylum seeker, with both insisting it has nothing to do with helping him get an Australian visa.
Speaking of his new wife, Norozi, who refused to reveal where he was from, said: ‘I want to look after her in the future. I care about her. Is that a problem?’
This isn’t the first time activists have married detainees in the hope of getting around the government's policy of not resettling asylum seekers in Australia.
‘I don’t think that anyone would get married for a visa because that’s ridiculous. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Mohsen and I know what we think. You don’t know me,' said a defiant Ms Baumann.
Despite apparently dating for two-years previously, neither party would admit to being in love.
Asked about their age difference and whether they had married for love, Ms Baumann said that was a personal question.
‘I don’t give my age out either,’ she said.
‘I could be 17 or 70. It doesn’t matter how old I am. It doesn’t matter to me, every day of my life it doesn’t matter to me. You are as you feel.
‘I don’t care what anyone else thinks. Mohsen and I know what we think. You don’t know me.’
The men on Manus Island have the options of settling in PNG if found to be refugees or returning to their country of origin if they fail.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced in October last year that new laws would ensure no one transferred to Manus or Nauru would ever get any visa to enter Australia.
If the laws pass, the only option for Norozi and Ms Baumann would be to live in the US under Australia’s refugee swap deal.
‘We’re hoping the American deal comes through very soon for everybody,’ Ms Baumann said.
‘We plan to live in America by the looks of it.’
This story originally appeared on New Idea.