January 16, 2015
1pm Friday January 16 at the Immigration Department, corner Spring and Lonsdale Sts Melbourne
Speakers include Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
“This vigil will call on Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, to save an Iranian hunger striker’s life by releasing him immediately from indefinite detention,’’ said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective.
“The vigil will also be in solidarity with the mass hunger strike protest that has swept Manus Island. The hunger strike on Manus was sparked by refugees’ fears of being attacked by locals if sent to Lorengau, threats of mass deportations if asylum seekers don’t accept PNG processing, and lack of running water.”
The hunger striker in Darwin, known as “Martin” was on hunger strike for 53 days until 21 December last year. He resumed the hunger strike on 27 December. He has now been hospitalised with cellulitis, ironically the infection that ultimately took the life of another Iranian asylum seeker on Manus Island, Hamid Khazaie, in September last year.
“The infection is said to have stabilised, but he may have already suffered permanent organ damage and we hold grave fears for his life,” continued Breen. “Martin had been living in the community for two years on a bridging visa before being re-detained in August. Iran will not accept forced returns of asylum seekers; his re-detention is thus cruel and pointless and effectively indefinite. There are around 35 Iranian asylum seekers at Wickham Point in Darwin in a similar situation.”
“To allow Martin to die, when there is no good reason for his continued detention would be extraordinarily heartless,“ said Breen.
We are appealing for the Minister
- To show compassion and act urgently to release “Martin” and save his life.
- To close Manus Island and bring all the asylum seekers and refugees to safety in Australia.
For more info call Chris Breen from the Refugee Action Collective on 0403 013 183