84-year-old Australian professor in limbo at Manila airport


Australian academic Gill Boehringer remains in limbo at Manila airport after both his airline and Philippine authorities denied him a way to leave the country.

An 84-year-old Australian human rights activist will spend a sixth night in Manilla's airport, where he's been since first being barred from entering the Philippines.

NSW professor Gill Boehringer says he was ordered on Monday afternoon to board a flight back to Guangzhou but his lawyer later confirmed the airline had refused to take him.

"Airlines will not board him without a medical certificate that he is fit to travel," Maria Sol Taule told AAP late on Monday.

File: Mr Boehringer consulting with his lawyer inside an airport holding room
File: Mr Boehringer consulting with his lawyer inside an airport holding room

The 84-year-old US-born academic hasn't left the airport's international zone since he arrived on a flight from China on August 8.

He was refused entry to the country after being placed on the Philippine Bureau of Immigration's blacklist.

Prof Boehringer has said BI incorrectly believes he participated in a rally three years ago.

Ms Sol Taule wants a medical expert from outside the airport to check her client but said BI has denied her client's latest application to stay in the country on medical grounds.

"We all agree that my 'vital signs' are normal," the professor posted online on Monday.

"But what only the bureau fails to understand (or care about) is that you cannot predict that a person is fit to travel and not in danger from a deep vein thrombosis - which I have previously suffered - and nearly died from with a blood clot in my lung."

The bureau said it wasn't detaining the Australian professor.

It said he was instead in the custody of his airline because he had not been allowed entry to the Philippines.

Prof Boehringer, who is married to a Filipino woman, said there was no basis for his exclusion from the Philippines.


Geneve Rivera-Reyes from advocacy group Health Action for Human Rights examined Prof Boehringer after he arrived in the Philippines and said he was suffering from deep vein thrombosis and cellulitis in both legs.

She agreed it was "not safe" for him to travel again without a medical clearance.

The government claims it banned Prof Boehringer because his participation in a November 2015 rally violated an order "prohibiting foreigners from engaging in political activities in the Philippines".

Source AAP - SBS

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