Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

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

Archives January 2019


An Iranian asylum seeker, brutally bashed by Nauruan locals on Tuesday, was medivacced to Australia yesterday, Wednesday, 23 January.
Refugees who saw him said his condition  was “very bad”, with serious facial injuries. It is thought he may have suffered brain injuries. Although he was conscious, he was confused and incoherent.
There is no information about his present condition.
The bashing comes only two weeks before the Federal parliament will consider a medical transfer amendments that will allow asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island to be transferred to Australia for medical treatment on the advice of two treating doctors.
“Nauru remains unsafe,” said Ian Rintoul , spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, ” The medical facilities are completely inadequate. This medivac is just the latest indication  of the lack of treatment that is available on Nauru. Even many basic blood tests can be done on the island. Hundreds of refugees have had to transferred to Australia for treatment.
“It is time Nauru was evacuated and closed completely, and everyone brought to Australia.”
For media contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

April 14 | Walk for Justice for Refugees – Palm Sunday 2019

When: 2pm, Sunday 14th April 2019

Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne

Facebook event here

(Organised by the Palm Sunday organising group)

Printable leaflet here
Printable poster here

JOIN THE PALM SUNDAY Walk for Justice for Refugees on Sunday 14 April 2019
– For a Fair and Welcoming Society
– Close Manus & Nauru, Bring Them Here

Join with people from community groups, faith groups, unions, and political organisations on Palm Sunday to stand up for refugees.

In the run up to the federal election join the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice and help deliver the message to all politicians that we want a fair society that welcomes refugees.

It took over five years, but almost all children are now off Nauru. This is a result of the pressure of the refugee movement on the politicians who said they would never come here. Now we need to get everyone off Manus and Nauru.

Australia’s treatment of refugees continues to be inhumane and unjust:
• Over 1000 people on Nauru and Manus are still languishing offshore, with no prospects for permanent resettlement. The US deal will not provide for all of these people – they need to be brought to safety.
• The Australian Government is not offering permanent protection to the children and their families being brought here from Nauru – so their uncertainty continues, and the government is still refusing the New Zealand offer to provide permanent protection. Many of the children and families from Nauru are now held in detention centres here, or in community detention.
• Hundreds of people continue to be held in on-shore detention centres – some for more than 9 years
• Over 16,000 people are still on Bridging visas in the community, with uncertain futures
• The Government is continuing to deport people to danger, and thousands of people live with the threat of deportation. These include the Biloela family, and Huyen who may be indefinitely separated from her young baby, who have now be held in detention for many months
• Young people who have grown up here and have permanent residency are being held in detention, and some have been sent back to countries where they have never lived
• Thousands of people face destitution as the government withdraws income and housing support to vulnerable people, who have difficulty getting full time employment, having been denied the right to work for many years.
Australia must honour its commitments under the Refugee Convention, embrace decency and fairness and provide permanent protection for refugees.
• Seeking asylum is a human right, but people seeking asylum by boat continue to be turned back; and UNHCR recognised refugees stuck in Indonesia for many years without the right to work, education, or health care are currently banned from coming to Australia.

Stand up for a fair and welcoming society by joining the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees in 2019

Invite your friends, and share through your social media networks.

To endorse the rally email

call Marie Hapke 0409 252 673 or Chris Breen 0403 013 183 or visit for more information


A 33 year-old refugee, from Sierra Leone has hanged himself in Villawood Detention Centre. He was found in his room around 4.30pm, this afternoon, Friday 25 January.

It is understood that Musa (not his real name)  had been held in the detention centre around three years, and had previously been diagnosed with psychiatric problems.

Tragically, Musa was actually on ‘suicide watch’ inside the Mitchell compound of Villawood detention centre, having been being discharged from Liverpool Hospital only two days ago.

“This is a completely shocking and unnecessary death; the responsibility for which lies with the Minister. It was the Minister for Immigration and Home Affairs who was keeping him in detention. The responsibility for his death lies with the Minister,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

 “Musa should never have been in detention in the first place. His severe mental health problems have been known for years, yet he was kept in detention with no hope of getting well.”

The refugee’s death comes as a national hunger strike protest has pushed the issue of long-term detention, and the injustices associated with s501 of the Migration Action and the Ministerial powers that allow non-citizens to be denied normal appeal and to held essentially in indefinite detention at the discretion of the Minister.

“The Minister needs to urgently act to release all the at-risk detainees as the first step in closing tall the detention centres completely. We need more than the usual coronial inquest inquiry that can takes years before there is any finding,” said Rintoul.

” There are hundreds of people at-risk inside the mainland detention centres. We need an independent inquiry to find out why he was in detention, instead of getting the mental health care he needed in the community.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 04117 275 713