Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Free the refugees! Let them land, let them stay!

Archives November 2014

Media Release – Snap Melb Protest Thur 12.30pm – Bring Mehrzad to Australia for treatement – Protect Refugees on Nauru from Attacks




The Refugee Action Collective has called a snap protest for tomorrow Thursday November 20, 12.30pm, outside the Immigration Department, corner Lonsdale & Spring Sts Melbourne. We are calling on the Australia government to save the sight of Mehrzad, an Iranian refugee on Nauru, and to bring all refugees dumped offshore back to Australia for their protection.


Speakers include Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and Chris Breen from the Refugee Action Collective.
‘An Iranian man Mehrzad lost 60% of his sight after being struck with a rock in a vigilante attack on Nauru. There is no treatment available for him on Nauru. Without treatment he may lose his sight. The Australian government cannot wash their hands of his situation,’ said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective.


‘Just as refugees were attacked on Manus Island, they are now being attacked on Nauru. There have been 10 documented attacks on refugees, including unaccompanied minors, since October. This week a vigilante letter was widely circulated on Nauru, further threatening the safety of refugees. Neither Manus Island nor Nauru are safe for refugees.’


‘Nauru is an extremely poor country of only ten thousand people. Australia should be providing assistance to Nauru instead of exporting the racism of the Coalition government. The contempt for refugees displayed by the Coalition has found an echo amongst a minority of Nauruans. Local detention centre staff also get paid many times less than expats, which adds to tensions.’


‘Refugees dumped on Nauru, both inside the detention centre and in the community, remain Australia’s responsibility. The Refugee Action Collective demands treatment for Merhzad. We call on Scott Morrison to bring all the refugees to Australia, rather than accept the potential for more blood on his hands.’
‘The protest will also call on the Coalition government to continue to resettle in Australia those refugees processed by the UNHCR within Indonesia, and to stop its attempt to withdraw from the 1951 Refugee Convention in all but name,’ said Breen.


For further comment call Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective

0403 013 183

PROTEST Morrison’s bill to bring in TPVs and cancel refugee rights – 5pm Mon Nov 24, Imm Dept

– Permanent protection, not temporary visas
– No deportation to danger
– Fair processing, not ‘fast track’ screening
– No boat tow backs
– Don’t remove court scrutiny and appeal rights
 Monday 24th November, 5pm, Department of Immigration, 
Corner of Spring St and Lonsdale St

Scott Morrison has done a dirty deal with Clive Palmer to bring in an extreme anti-refugee bill. This will bring back Temporary Protection Visas, which mean permanent insecurity and no-family reunion for refugees. In addition over two thousand people already on Manus Island and Nauru will remain in limbo. The bill will change the legal definition of a refugee and give the Immigration Minister unprecedented powers removed from any court scrutiny.

The senate committee examining the bill will deliver its report on Novermber 24. Join the Refugee Action Collective to make sure the depth of opposition to this new attack on refugee rights is loud and clear.

If passed, the bill will also:

*Remove references to the UN Refugee Convention from the Migration Act

*Remove the ability of the High Court to challenge refugee policy and operations

*Allow boats to be towed beyond Australian waters and just left there without regard for safety

*Entrench the screen out or fast track assessment process which removes access to the Refugee Review Tribunal and provides very limited review processes

*Classify children born in Australia, to asylum seekers who arrived by boat, as ‘transitory persons’, giving them no access to permanent residency or citizenship*Change the definition of ‘refugee’ to allow the government to deny a claim for refugee status if it decides that there is a ‘safe area’ in the country of origin, or that the nation’s police force is ‘reasonably effective’*Allow the Australian government to deport people regardless of non-refoulement obligations*Keep asylum seekers, currently living in Australia, in indefinite statelessness and uncertainty, unable to reunite with their families or move on with their lives

For more information, contact Lucy Honan 0404728104


Refugee Action Collective Volunteer Information Night & TPV update – 6.30pm Mon Nov 10, 506 Elizabeth St City

Do you want to get involved with the Refugee Action Collective but not sure how? Do you want to contribute, but can’t make weekly meetings?

Come along to the RAC information night!

Guest speaker Mohammed Baquiri will give an introduction on what is wrong with the re-introduction of Temporary Protection Visas – he was on one and can speak from direct experience.

Members of RAC will provide information on what RAC does and the number of different ways you can get involved. Including: helping staff community stalls, helping spread the word about rallies and forums through distribution of flyers, posters and fact sheets, contacting organisations regarding refugee speakers, research, phoning contact lists and more. No previous experience or knowledge necessary! We can also find plenty to do for people with specific skills e.g. graphic design.

When: Monday, 10th of November @ 6.30pm
Where: The Multicultural Hub, Elizabeth Street, Melbourne CBD (opposite the Queen Victoria Markets)

Drinks and light refreshments available