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Asylum seeker baby seeks citizenship

Lawyers for an asylum-seeker family have lodged a citizenship application for their newborn baby. (Photo: AAP)

December 14, 2013

LAWYERS for an asylum-seeker family have lodged a citizenship application for their sick baby, who was born in Australia.

Baby Ferouz was born in a Brisbane hospital in November after his mother, father and two siblings were transferred there from the Nauru detention centre.

The family, who come from Myanmar (Burma), have been fighting against being returned to Nauru because Ferouz, who was born early, and his mother, who has diabetes, are still weak.

Earlier this month, the law firm acting for the family applied for a protection visa for the newborn.

On Friday, the firm said it had lodged a citizenship application for the child.

"Ferouz was born in Brisbane. He has a Queensland birth certificate and there is no other country where he has a right to citizenship," Maurice Blackburn associate Murray Watt said in a statement.

He said Ferouz's family was from the persecuted Rohingya minority group in Myanmar, and the government there does not recognise them as citizens.

"Only last month, the government of Myanmar rejected a United Nations resolution urging it to grant citizenship to the Rohingya," Mr Watt said.

"In these circumstances, the law is clear that baby Ferouz is entitled to Australian citizenship, and therefore to remain in Australia permanently."

He again called on Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to show some compassion and allow the family to remain in Australia.

Mr Watt said the protection visa lodged for the baby last week was still being considered by the government.

Comment from Mr Morrison has been sought.

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