February 3, 2016
Refugee advocates undeterred by high court decision- Melbourne protests tomorrow to “Let them Stay”.
The high court has found that offshore imprisonment of refugees is technically valid, but advocates warn the Turnbull government faces broadening community opposition to Nauru and Manu.
“There is massive opposition to asylum seeker removals to Nauru. The high court maintained the legal fiction that Nauru is an ‘open’ camp, and that it is not run by Australia. But we know detention on Nauru only exists because of the Australian government. Its funding and management is maintained by the Australian government.
“And the so-called open centre arrangements have changed little in practice. Asylum seekers are still searched going in and out of the camp. They are still not allowed to bring anything, even food, back into the camp.
“We have seen the rapes, assaults and harassment that Dutton and Turnbull want to take these people back to.
“A campaign to protect the asylum seekers attached to the high court case from removal to Nauru has already begun. We have seen doctors, teachers, social workers, religious institutions and unions say no to these camps.
“A mass campaign ensured rape victim Abyan was returned to Australia- we can do it again to make sure none of these people are removed, and that the camps are closed. The high court decision has only increased the motivation of this growing campaign to take protest and civil disobedience action.” Says Lucy Honan, spokesperson from the Refugee Action Collective
The Refugee Action Collective has called a protest for Thursday afternoon, 5:30pm at the State Library, where speakers include Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Alex Bhathal from the Greens, Mohammad Ali Baqiri, a Hazara refugee who was detained on Nauru as a child, and union speakers.
For more details call Lucy Honan 0404728104