December 10, 2015
Refugee Action Coalition
HUNDREDS OF TPV AND BRIDGING VISA HOLDERS TO PROTEST FOR RIGHT TO WORK
AND PERMANENT VISAS
Around 200 asylum seekers on bridging visas and refugees with
temporary protection visas (TPV) will stage a day-long protest, this
Friday, 11 December, outside the Sydney offices of the Department of
Immigration and Border Protection at 22 Lee Street. (Details below)
The protesters plan to stay outside the Immigration office from around
10.00am to 5.00pm. The protest will call for the right to work for
asylum seekers in the community; for the department to end the delays
in processing their claims and for permanent protection not TPVs for
those found to be in need of protection.
The Sydney protest follows a similar protest held in Canberra on 13
November, when around 250 bridging visa holders and their supporters
rallied outside Parliament House.
The protesters, mostly Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees, represent
the almost 30,000 asylum seekers in the community, many of them left
waiting for three years without even being interviewed., and denied
the right to ever see their families.
“In December 1014, the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison promised
that people in the community on bridging visas would be given the
right to work. But that hasn’t happened. They have been left
destitute, while the Immigration department deliberately delays any
assessment of their refugee claims,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson
for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The delays; the misery and uncertainty inflicted on asylum seekers
and refugees in the community is the flip-side of the brutality
inflicted offshore, on Manus and Nauru.”
Under Coalition policy, asylum seekers who arrive by boat, and who are
found to be refugees will only be granted temporary protection visas,
and are therefore denied the right to travel and the right to be
re-united with their families, many of whom themselves have been left
in dangerous situations.
Protest: Bridging visa holders breaking the silence: 10.00am-5.00pm
Speak-out: 12.00-1.30pm, Friday 11 December
Immigration Department, 26 Lee St, Sydney.
Speakers include: Lee Rhiannon, NSW Greens Senator; Iraqi refugee;
Michael Thompson, NTEU and Unions for Refugees; Jenny Haines, Labor
for Refugees; Refugee Action Coalition
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713