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October 18, 2010

REFUGEE GROUPS REJECT GILLARD’S MORE DETENTION SOLUTION

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Media Release October 18, 2010

Refugee groups are horrified with Julia Gillard’s announcement that the minority Labor government will open more detention centres. Of particular concern is the centre for housing family groups at Inverbrackie, South Australia.

“It is a disgrace that the government is opening yet more detention centres. This is not even an announcement to end the mandatory detention of children and families,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Maintaining mandatory detention will only perpetuate the abuses of detainees’ human rights. The despair and the mental health problems inside the detention centres will escalate.

“The government is proposing community detention not community processing for families and children. If they are committed to keeping children and families out of detention why are they expanding the Darwin Airport lodge and why are they opening Inverbrackie?

“It is ridiculous to suggest that the government needs until June 2011 to get the families and children out of the detention centres. They could immediately remove the fences and the guards around the hotels and so-called transit accommodation that presently imprison families and unaccompanied minors.

“It is now imperative that The Greens move their resolution to amend the Migration Act – to specifically end the detention of children and families. But this can only be a first step to ending mandatory detention completely. The mental illness factories must be closed.

“The government is clearly gearing up to indefinitely detain hundreds of asylum seekers that are expected to get another hearing if the High Court challenge to offshore processing goes against the government.

“The government has guaranteed that the refugee rights protests inside and outside the detention centres will grow. There will be no justice for asylum seekers until there is an end to mandatory detention and an end to off-shore processing.”

Stand Up for Refugees protests are planned around the country in the coming weeks. Sydney, Saturday 23 October, 1pm Town Hall with speakers from The Greens, Afghan refugee and Phil Glendenning from Edmund Rice Centre.

Melbourne, Sunday 7 November, 2pm State Library.

See the government’s press release on the announcement here

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