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