Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

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

Archives August 2015


Refugee Action Coalition
> A third Iranian asylum seeker has been taken from his compound on
> Manus Island and is threatened with forced removal to Iran as early as
> this (Thursday, 27 August ) morning.
> Two other Iranian asylum seekers were removed in the week of the 13
> August. All the removals have been carried out in defiance of legal
> action in PNG’s Supreme Court.
> The 34 year-old man threatened with removal today, is one of the
> applicants named in a Supreme Court interim injunction issued on 25
> August that prevents the removal of 26 specific individuals, until the
> court reconvenes today, 27 August.
> “The attempt to remove the Iranian may well put the PNG immigration
> authorities in contempt of court. It is clearly an attempt to pre-empt
> the constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court,” said Ian Rintoul,
> spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “PNG and Australian
> immigration authorities are stepping up effort to intimidate people
> into signing to return to their home countries.”
> The going rate for Iranians agreeing to return to their country is
> $10,000 but offers of $15,000 are routine.
> The Supreme Court will consider the injunction and the PNG
> government’s action at a hearing this morning in Port Moresby. PNG
> immigration officials have already been referred to police for their
> action in ‘perverting the course of justice’ by removing on 13 August,
> the first of the Iranians, who was an applicant in the Supreme Court
> constitutional challenge.
> The attempted removal comes at the same time as the visit of senior
> Transfield and Border Protection officers to the Manus detention
> centre. A team of five – two Transfield management and three Border
> Force officials – have met with community and compound leaders
> yesterday.
> Complaints about staff behaviour, food, accommodation and
> communications have already been put to the officials by the
> detainees. “We are treated like criminals, not asylum seekers,” one
> Manus asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition, “We have
> complained so often that the food is out of its use-by date and food
> often has flies and insects in it.”
> The high-level Border Force visit also comes following a bizarre
> display of traditional Manus dancers taken into the detention
> compounds on 25 August. On that afternoon, without any announcement,
> traditional armed dancers performed inside each compound.
> “We believe they were warning us,” said one of the asylum seekers,
> “They want to pressure us to go back.”
> International Organisation for Migration officers who have the contract
> for arranging ‘voluntary’ removals came into the compounds following
> the dancers – but found no-one willing to sign to back.
> Video of the dancers in the compound is available on request.
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Rally to support PNG legal challenge to Manus detention, and oppose possible deportations

Media Release for immediate release

Rally to support PNG legal challenge to Manus detention, and oppose possible deportations


The Refugee Action Collective will be protesting against any moves to forcibly remove ‘failed’ asylum seekers from Manus Island, from 5pmMonday August 17, City Square corner Swanston and Russell Sts. City.


“Asylum seekers have been told if they don’t voluntarily depart they will either be deported or potentially held in ‘correctional institutions’ (PNG jail) indefinitely if they cannot be returned. PNG has no agreement with Iran to forcibly return asylum seekers; despite this 6 PNG police forcibly moved a 27 year old Iranian asylum seeker on Manus to solitary confinement in attempt to coerce him and other to return ‘voluntarily’.” said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective
“Lawyers are seeking injunctions for the men at risk of removal by attaching them to a Supreme Court Case in PNG that is challenging the legality of detention on Manus Island. Under s42(1) PNG’s constitution guarantees liberty unless a person has committed a crime or illegally entered PNG. The denial of access to lawyers, and the brutal conditions in which asylum seekers have been held will also be challeneged. For almost two years over 1000 asylum seekers have been held on Manus Island in appalling conditions designed to break people. No-one has been resettled, and there is no immediate prospect of this.”

“Today the Supreme Court Case is back in court in PNG. We are rallying to support  the challenge to the legality of detention on Manus. We demand the Australian government only remove asylum seekers from the Manus Island hell hole in order to bring them to the Australian mainland for fair processing and permanent resettlement.” concluded Breen
Speakers include:

Reza Yarahmadi – Iranian refugee

Margaret Sinclair –Refugee Action Collective

For further comment call Chris Breen 0403 013 183 or Margaret Sinclair 0417  031 533

Stand Up for Refugees Rally | 2pm Oct 11

Stand Up for Refugees Rally

When: 2pm 11 October 2015

Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St Melbourne

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Oct 11.pdf

• NO Turnbacks
• Close Manus & Nauru
• NO Border Force Act
• End Mandatory Detention

Speakers include:

Senator Sarah Hanson Young – Australian Greens

Mohammad Baqiri – refugee activist and Afghan refugee

Reza Yarahmadi – refugee activist and Kurdish refugee

As the 2nd Anniversary of Operation Sovereign Borders approaches all the horrors of Manus and Nauru remain.There is no permanent resettlement in sight for refugees, and systematic sexual abuse continues. Doctors have been over-ruled by government, victims have been denied appropriate medical treatment, and remain stuck where attacks took place.

Now the Abbott government is threatening doctors, nurses, teachers, counsellors and other workers in the detention regime with two years jail if they talk about what they witness. If you oppose this attempt to silence, then join us in defiance at the public rally on October 11.

There is an alternative. If asylum seeker boats can be found and turned around then they can instead be given safe passage to Australia; and asylum seekers processed on the mainland in the community.

Call Chris 0403 013 183 or visit for more info