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November 17, 2010

VILLAWOOD STAGE 3 HUNGER STRIKE CONTINUES

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Media Release 17 November 2010

While many asylum seekers in stage 3 are expected to end their hunger strike at lunch today, a substantial group are determined to maintain their protest for some time yet.

“There is a lot of discussion among the detainees this morning about the best way to continue their protest,” said refugee spokesperson, Ian Rintoul.

While exact numbers won’t be clear until after lunch today, it is thought that between 20 and 60 asylum seekers, mostly Iranian and Iraqis, will continue their protest today.

A solidarity protest called by the Refugee Action Coalition will take place outside Villawood detention will be held at 4.30 this (Wednesday) afternoon, cnr of Gurney and Miowera Roads. This will coincide with a protest inside the detention centre.

VILLAWOOD HUNGER STRIKER TAKEN TO HOSPITAL

Meanwhile, a 28 year old Tamil refugee was taken to hospital from Villawood detention last night.

The man, who has been in detention since June 2009, has been on hunger strike, unrelated to the suicide death of the Iraqi man on Monday night, for 16 days.

Although found to be a refugee, his visa has been denied due to an adverse security finding.

As in other cases of adverse security finding, there is no information about the basis of that finding.

His hunger strike is in protest at the length of time he has been in detention and his inability to challenge the adverse security finding. He joins the Tamils from the Oceanic Viking who have also have adverse security finding and face being held indefinitely in detention.

Legal attempts to seek a review of ASIO’s finding in the Oceanic Viking cases have so far been unsuccessful.

“It seems ASIO is a law unto itself and courts are unable to order reviews of the security declarations. It is a fundamental denial of justice,“ said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Two other Tamils from the same boat are still waiting, after 17 months, for their security clearances.

Two other Tamils who began their protest before the suicide of the Iraqi man on Monday night are also continuing to hunger strike.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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