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July 6, 2011

DARWIN DETENTION PROTEST WARNING AS TENSION GROWS

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Despite last minute pleas from immigration and Serco offcials, Darwin asylum seekers are determined to push ahead with a protest inside the detention centre starting at 10am Thursday.

Tensions have been rising in the detention centre since a roof top protest last Wednesday. There has been a spate of self-harm and attempted suicides and the asylum seekers since Wednesday.

On Monday afternoon (July 4), a protest was focussed on the detention centre’s medical centre and what was seen as the unsympathetic and discriminatory treatment of asylum seekers particularly by one doctor.

According to reports from inside the detention centre, a meeting on Tuesday afternoon of Arab, Afghan, Iranian and Kurdish asylum seekers decided to take the protest action. They have released a statement – see below.

Thursday afternoon (July 7) was the deadline given by asylum seekers a week ago when Immigration officials told a mass meeting of asylum seekers that the immigration department would have “answers” for them by Thursday this week.

The issues of delays and lack of transparency in the processing system has become too much for the asylum seekers.

One of the asylum seekers has been waiting 8 months since his first rejection and still has no date for an appeal hearing. Others are waiting up to 22 months for security clearances or answers from appeal hearings.

For more information, contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Statement from Darwin asylum seekers:

We are asylum seekers detained in Darwin immigration detention center, we decided to start our opening peacefully protest from 10:00 am Thursday. We are protesting against the loss of justice, fairness, loss of clarity, slowness in the procedure, the bad treatment from immigration department and for the unjustified mandatory detention that incompatible with principles of human rights, this detention had been taken long time, more than necessary as many of us spent in the detention between 16-22 months Without justification.

The detention has affected our psychological condition, that push some of us because they lost the hope and clarity, to harm themselves and suicide, in addition to fits of madness. We appeal to who has interest in this matter, whoever can help to appeal to immigration department to look to our cases in humanitarian way and respond to our legitimate human rights, by acceleration required procedures and clarify the fate of every one and restore hope to desperate souls.

this declaration from afghan, arab. iran, kurdish detainees meeting 2:00 pm

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