Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

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

Archives February 2015

Feb 25 2015- Manus Island Hygiene and Health Hazard (RAC, Sydney Media Release)

Refugee Action Coalition (Sydney) MEDIA RELEASE, Wed 25 Feb


A filthy toilet block (three toilets and three showers) in Delta Compound on Manus Island has been demolished.

The disgusting facilities were a health hazard and should have been demolished months ago.

But, little has changed. The demolition means that there are only 12 toilets and showers for 300 people.

The stench is strong as ever. The sewage pipes just run into the sea off Delta Compound anyway, and the sewage washes back in with a high tide. But the pipes are clogged creating a constant unhygienic mess in the compound.

The mosquitoes remain in plague proportions. The queue to use the toilets and showers is often has 25 or 30 people, waiting an hour or longer.

Not surprisingly, many people in the compound have skin rashes and fungal infections that medical services provider, IHMS, seems incapable of properly treating. Everyone worries about rashes and skin problems since the death of Hamid Khazaie in September, last year.

Since the end of the hunger strike in late January, asylum seekers are issued with tiny amounts of washing powder, which is not enough to properly clean their clothes. There are four washing machines (and two driers) for 300 people, so most people have to hand wash to keep their clothes clean.

Nor can the asylum seekers have shampoo.

In 2013, a Amnesty International report found that the conditions on Manus Island and in Delta Compound ‘…violate the Convention against Torture.”

Nothing’s changed.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Feb 17th, 5:30pm | One year since Reza Barati’s murder: Protest and poster action

5:30pm, 17th February 2015
State Library of Victoria 328 Swanston Street Melbourne

Facebook event

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Meet at State Library for speak out, then we’ll cover the city with posters, stickers and chalk to demand an end to offshore detention.

Speakers: Arnold Zable, writer and human rights activist; Reza Yarahmadi, Iranian refugee

One year ago, PNG mobile squad, detention staff and locals launched an attack on the refugees held in the Manus Island detention centre, and killed Reza Barati. The attack left others with slit throats, lost eyes, and countless injuries and trauma. To date, no one has yet been convicted for his murder. Reza Barati was the first victim of Australia’s offshore detention hell.

Manus detainees who have made witness statements over the death of Reza Barati have been beaten and isolated. There are claims from Julian Burnside that some were offered a move to Australia if they would retract their evidence.

Since that night the crisis in offshore detention continues. Hamid Kehazaei lost his life due to medical neglect in August. Most recently, Wilson security guards have carried out reprisal attacks on hunger striking asylum seekers. Physical attacks, isolation and arbitrary arrest continue. The hunger strike stopped immigration from forcibly moving 50 people determined to be refugees to insecure accommodation at the Lorengau settlement on Manus.

But there will be no justice for Reza Barati, and certainly no justice for the refugees still on Manus and Nauru until the camps are closed and the refugees resettled in Australia.

*Material will be available at the State Library. Material will advertise Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees.

March 29, 1.30pm | Palm Sunday Rally: Walk for Justice for Refugees

Sunday March 29 @ 1.30pm / State Library, Swanston Street, Melbourne

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The Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees was a huge success in 2014 with over 8,000 people turning up to show their support in Melbourne alone!

Mark your calendars to join this year for our second Walk for Justice in 2015 on Sunday 29 March.

Music will start at 1.30pm and speeches from 2pm.

We will then proceed down to Queen Victoria Gardens – opposite the NGV on St Kilda Road. This is about 1 kilometre (please let us know if you will need any assistance with your mobility).

We will have further speeches and some activties at the Queen Victoria Gardens.

Indicate your intention to attend and invite your friends on Facebook.