Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

2017 Media Releases



Refugee Action Coalition


In the biggest demonstration yet against the arbitrary closure of Foxtrot compound hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees have protested at the compound. (Photos attached)
Despite the threat of closure and demolition, refugees and asylum seekers are still living in Foxtrot. Refugee electricians have managed to re-establish power to the compound despite it being cut-off on Monday 31 July.
Refugees have again told Border Force that they cannot and will not move to East Lorengau because it is too dangerous.
ABF says there is only 90 days to closure and there is no option, but the government needs to act urgently to bring all the asylum seekers and refugees to Australia.
“Turnbull and Dutton must face up to the fact that PNG has no intention of resettling anyone in PNG. Nothing is gained by continuing to threaten people who have been unlawfully held on Manus Island, ” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “It is time to face up to their responsibilities, and bring them to safety.”
The Refugee Action Coalition has called a snap “Bring Them Here” protest to demand an end to the intimidation and forced compound closures on Manus – Thursday, 3 August, 5.15 pm (for 5.30 start) at Malcolm Turnbull’s office, 287 New South Head Road, Edgecliff (near Edgecliff station). 
The protest will also raise the victim the tragic circumstances for asylum seekers in the Australian community that led to the attempted self-immolation by an Iranian man at the Sydney immigration office on Friday, 28 July. 
There are protest on Friday 4 Aug, at Peter Dutton’s office in Brisbane at 7.00am, and in Melbourne at the State Library at 5.30pm.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Statement from Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Nauru 0

We have waited long enough! We have a right to be free and to know our future! We were tricked into being transferred to Nauru from Christmas island, promised that we would be freed quickly if we followed the rules. Those who remained on Christmas Island, are now in Australia.
Some of us have children, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and family in Australia. Our families are heartbroken and devastated from the separation.
We stopped protesting in November 2016, when the Prime Minister promised to free us and allow us to go to USA. We felt the life come back into our blood with just a tiny bit of hope and thought of freedom. We are still not free nine months later! We are more tormented than ever because we were tantalised with a glimpse, and then slowly let down, yet again.
We have been imprisoned for four years on Nauru. We are punished for our patience and good will.
If Australia won’t take us, we accept that. Let us go to a country who wants us. New Zealand wants us. Let us go there, so we can be good loyal citizens and contribute to the community and build our future. We are good people. We just want freedom in a country where we belong. ABF, you say Nauru is responsible for us, but you make all of the decisions. For Nauru, we are a commodity in a ruined economy. Why do you want to punish us and hold us prisoners in a place where we are simply a means for people to earn an income, because their land was destroyed by your greed. We are human, we want to be responsible for our own lives.
We cannot take this anymore, the lies and false promises are killing us and destroying our minds and souls.
People are still living like animals in the camps. The conditions have made everyone sick. The mould is toxic and dangerous. ABF, you know it is a danger to our health because you had experts from Australia come to Nauru to test it. The experts stated that you are in breach of your duty of care if we remain living, or dying in the those conditions. We have the full report!
We were promised safe accommodation in the community when we became refugees. Many refugees are still in the camp, denied phones with cameras, denied bringing in food and things you think is contraband. We are not free! We live under strict, high security detention control, robbed of our civil liberties because you have no where else for us to live. ABF, you say it is the Nauru government responsibility to provide housing. Nauru government says ‘We asked Australia for money to rent the places, it is their responsibility’. Let us be free so we can be responsible for ourselves.
We try to talk with ABF and meet to discuss our future, your plan for us, but no one ever comes. You leave us to rot, with no information, with no hope, with no future and with no freedom!
We formally request that we be EVALUATED NOW! Please give us amnesty and let us go to New Zealand. Let the separated families reunite and please have some compassion for us.


Refugee Action Coalition



Tensions escalated on Manus Island on Monday, after the power and water for Foxtrot compound was turned off (notice attached) around 1pm.

Refugees were again told that they ‘need to move to East Lorengu Transit Centre’, but nothing is said about where asylum seekers were meant to go inside the detention centre.

At one point, in the late afternoon, PNG police assembled menacingly at the Foxtrot gate. But refugees came from throughout the centre to the gate and demanded the power be reconnected to Foxtrot. By 6.30pm, the police had gone.

Tonight, nobody has moved and  there are no guards in Foxtrot. Refugee ingenuity means that there is still some light and power in Foxtrot (see attached photo). But refugees are still demanding that power and water be officially turned back on, tomorrow ,Tuesday.

The move against Foxtrot, and the threat of demolition, has created a dangerous situation.

Border Force is creating an impossible situation inside the detention centre, trying to drive people out by depriving them of the most basic necessities and services. It is a form of collective punishment against people that the Australian government has imprisoned illegally.

But nobody is willing to move to East Lorengau when they face the butchery of bush knife attacks. In any case, East Lorenagu can only accommodate 298 refugees, and there are over 700 on Manus.

“Malcolm Turnbull has shown his contempt for the most basic human rights of people in his care. Holding the Manus refugees hostage in this way is a new low for the Australian government,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government has no plans to resettle and provide protection for those who are on Manus. Instead of brutalising who need protection, they should should end the stand-off at Foxtrot , restore the power and water. They can stop the atrocities, and meet the October deadline for closing Manus by bringing all the refugees and asylum seekers to Australia.”

The Refugee Action Coalition has called a snap “Bring Them Here” protest, Thursday, 3 August, 5.15 pm (for 5.30 start) at Malcolm Tunbull’s office, 287 New South Head Road, Edgecliff (near Edgecliff station).

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713