Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

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


A 31 year old Indian asylum seekers has set fire to himself and his room at the Hillside Compound on Manus Island, around 1.00 pm today (Friday 21 June). Photos of the fire in the Hillside compound and video clip is attached of police and immigration officers extinguishing the fire in Hillside compound.

It is understood that the asylum seeker has suffered burns to his face and hands and has been taken to the POH clinic at the East Lorengau compound.

His attempted self-immolation is the latest of a growing number of self-harm and suicide attempts on Manus Island. There are now over 95 such incidents involving over 62 asylum seekers and refugees.

“While the Home Affairs minister spends his time arguing to repeal the Medevac Bill, the situation on Manus spins out of control,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “Rather than point the finger at ‘advocate doctors’, he should be getting those who need help off Manus and Nauru. While the Minister spends his time politicking, and spreading more lies about women and others who need urgent medical help, the shocking toll of offshore detention grows worse day by day.

“Dutton has admitted the US deal will fall far short of providing enough resettlement places for those being held on Manus and Nauru. It has always been up to Australia to provide protection for those who sought protection in 2013. Now they need to bring them all here.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Media Release 15/06 –  Detainee Turns Tables on Serco with Court Win

“Two Serco employees received interim intervention orders at the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court against Ali Yousuf an Iraqi refugee detained indefinitely in MITA detention centre on 01/03/2019. Several months later one of them, who is part of Serco’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), strip searched Ali as he went to celebrate the end of Eid on June 4.” said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective

“Ali complained to the Broadmeadows Magistrates Court, and as a result of a hearing today, he now has an interim intervention order against the ERT guard. The order prevents the guard going from within 5m of Ali – which rules the guard out from many areas, including control rooms that have cameras that can observe Ali.”

“According to Ali, the judge questioned Serco employees detention related use of intervention orders, as this type of order was originally designed to deal with domestic violence. Both Serco employees have been ordered to appear at the court in person at a mediation hearing on 26/09/19.”

Breen continued “Shortly after the court decision Ali says that Australian Border Force (ABF) told him he would be moved to another detention centre, something he has requested all along. Ali is requesting to go to Perth to be near his sick mother. ABF must not play games and move him anywhere other than Perth.”

“Separately police also interviewed Ali at MITA on June 4 about an old Facebook post, which Ali says they soon realised was not posted by himself. Ali says that while there police refused to take a statement from him about the alleged assault by Serco ERT guards that broke his hand.”

“The Refugee Action Collective calls for a full, impartial and open investigation into Serco and ABF abuse of detainees in detention, including the alleged assault of Ali which broke his hand.“

“Ali should be set free as the Federal Court ordered on December 8, 2017” concluded Breen

For further comment or to be put in touch with Ali directly, call Chris Breen from the Refugee Action Collective on 0403 013 183


Unionists for Refugees & the Refugee Action Collective call on Premier Andrews to offer Biloela family safety

Unionists for Refugees & the Refugee Action Collective call on Premier Andrews to offer Biloela family safety

Unionists for Refugees and The Refugee Action Collective call on Premier Daniel Andrews to offer safe haven to a refugee family facing deportation and urge the Morrison government to let them stay.

Priya and Nades were settled in Biloela, Central Queensland, after fleeing torture in Sri Lanka. Despite the evidence of human rights organisations on the ground, the Australian government has now determined that Sri Lanka is safe, so they are trying to force this family – and countless others – to return. This follows the return to danger of 20 Sri Lankan asylum seekers, including one baby, last week after their boat was intercepted by Australian authorities.

Almost 200,000 people have signed a petition calling for the family – Priya, Nades, and their two Australian born children, Kopika and Tharunicaa – to stay in Australia. The family were forcibly transferred from their home in Biloela to the Melbourne Transit Accommodation Centre 15 months ago when Priya’s bridging visa expired.

The community of Biloela and the wider refugee rights movement have rallied around the family, and are campaigning for the Morrison government to bring the family #hometobilo. Before the federal election, then-Labor leader Bill Shorten said if Labor won, he would have their case examined for ministerial intervention. New Labor leader Anthony Albanese could make a difference if he would call for the family to stay.

“Unionists for Refugees and the Refugee Action Collective also call on Premier Andrews to stand up to the Morrison government and demand that the family be allowed to stay,” said  Clare Middlemas for Unionists for Refugees. In 2016, Premier Andrews wrote to Prime Minister Turnbull offering a welcome to stay in Victoria for a group of 267 asylum seekers who had come from Manus and Nauru for medical treatment. Those refugees are still here.

“The health of Priya and Nades’ girls inside detention is deteriorating so much that a complaint has now been made to Victorian child protection authorities. We are calling for the Premier to step in to help Priya, Nades and their children, by repeating the offer of sanctuary he made to the ‘Let Them Stay’ group of asylum seekers. The same offer of safety to this family could help prevent their deportation to danger. Such a call could add to pressure on Minister Coleman and the Morrison government to use their discretion to allow the family to stay.”

For further comment call

Chris Breen – Refugee Action Collective 0403 013 183 or

Clare Middlemas – Unionists for Refugees 0488 454 003