Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

2017 Media Releases

JUSTICE FOR HAMED 8/08 | REFUGEE ADVOCATES CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO MANUS DEATH

JUSTICE FOR HAMED

REFUGEE ADVOCATES CALL FOR INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO MANUS DEATH

Refugee advocates are deeply concerned at PNG police statements that they have ruled out “foul play” in regard to the death of Hamed.

“It is impossible for the PNG police to rule out foul play. The hastiness of the declartation only makes it look more suspicious,” said said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Anyone, who has seen the photos knows that Hamed’s death is suspicious. And anyone who is familiar with Hamed’s circumstances, would know that the Hamed had been arrested and beaten by the local police many times. The PNG police could not be relied on to carry out a thorough or impartial investigation. There are no facilities on Manus for an autopsy,” said Rintoul.

“There is an urgent need for an independent autopsy and investigation to establish the cause of death. It has been disgusting to watch the Turnbull government try to avoid its responsibility. The AFP officer was with Manus police at the scene where Hamed’s body was found near the school. The Australian government is directly implicated in Hamed’s death and this investigation.”

Meanwhile refugees and asylum seekers held a vigil for Hamed in Delta compound inside the detention centre Monday night. (Photos attached).

The Refugee Action Coalition has called a lunctime protest for Justice for Hamed, and Bring Them Here : 12.30pm, Wednesday 9 August, Sydney Commonwealth Government offices, 1 Bligh Street, City.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
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MEDIA RELEASE 7/08 | ONE MORE DEATH ON MANUS; MORE BLOOD ON TURNBULL’S HANDS

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

ONE MORE DEATH ON MANUS; MORE BLOOD ON TURNBULL’S HANDS

A 31 year-old Iranian asylum seeker, Hamid, was found hanging from a tree this morning (Monday) near the school close to the East Lorengau Transit Accommodation.

“Hamid’s death brings the Manus detention death toll to five. Five lives cut short by the brutality of offshore detention,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Hamid’s mental health problems were well-known for months. He had been held in prison at the Lorengau settlement, then was placed at the East Lorengau centre when he was released.

“Like all the others who have died on Manus, Hamid should never have been in detention or been on Manus. Detention had robbed him of his mental health and now it has taken his life. Whatever the immediate cause, it is Dutton and Turnbull who are responsible for his death,” said Rintoul

While suicide is supected, mystery surrounds his death. His body was found near the school well outside East Lorengau centre. Refugees on Manus are convinced that his death is suspicious as Hamid had often been beaten by locals.

The centre has been particularly controversial in the last few weeks as Border Force and PNG immigration have cut power and water from Foxtrot compounds in an effort to force refugees ro leave the detention centre and move to East Lorengau.

“Hamid’s death will confirm the worst fears of refugees on Manus. Manus is not safe. East Lorengau is not safe. They have already told Border Force that they will not move,” said Rintoul.

“Turnbull must act immediately to call off the siege of Foxtrot compound and end the moves to force refugee to move to East Lorengau. The asylum seekers should never have been sent to Manus or Nauru. It is long past time to bring them to Australia. There is no other option.

“There must be a full and open enquiry into Hamid’s death. No one has any confidence that an inquiry by local PNG police could possibly be independent.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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MEDIA RELEASE 6/08 | BIGGEST RALLY YET SAYS HANDS OFF FOXTROT

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

BIGGEST RALLY YET SAYS HANDS OFF FOXTROT

Sunday 6 August has seen the biggest protest so far inside the Manus Island detention centre to stop the closure of Foxtrot compound. (Photos attached)

Hundreds gathered at the Foxtrot compound calling for the power to be officially restored; “informal” wiring by refugee electricians has re-establishe power to the compound since power was officially cut off on 1 August.

Today, (Sunday) also saw cleaners returned to the compound after unhygeinic conditions saw 20 people admitted to the medivcal clinic for treatment.

Some of the banners opened mocked the Turnbull/Trump conversation transcript where Turnbull blatantly explains that Trump does not need to take any refugees from Manus and Nauru.

“Turnbull needs to call off the attempt to close Foxtrot,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refuge Action Coalition, “Or to force refugees to move from the centre to East Lorengau, which is even more dangerous.”

“It is clear that the detention centre cannot be closed by the October 31 deadline. East Lornegau cannot accommodate the number of refugees that are in the detention centre. Papau New Guinea is not willing and is unable to provide resettlement and Turnbull’s US deal is doubtful.

“It is time to bring all the asylum seekers and refugees to Australia.”

For more information contact Ian Rintolu 0417 275 713
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