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July 22, 2011


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

For the third day in a row, asylum seekers have initiated protests inside the Christmas Island detention centre. This (Thursday) afternoon, asylum seekers in Gold compound have barricaded themselves in their compound.

The, mostly Iranian, asylum seekers have said they will commit mass self harm or even suicide if the Federal police try to break into the compound to force an end to the protest. The exact number of asylum seekers inside the barricaded compound is not known, but the compounds can house up to 140 detainees.

Echoing the demands of the March events, the protesters are calling for the media to come to the detention centre to witness the conditions in detention. They have also called for the United Nations to send independent human rights watchdogs to the island to ensure their safety and human rights.

“We cannot get justice from the Australian government or immigration. We wnat international observers to give us protection,” one asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition.

Meanwhile asylum seekers in the Green compound have dug shallow graves in the courtyard of their compound. Some asylum seekers have already staged mock burials and buried themselves up to their necks in a symbolic protest that detention is killing their bodies and their minds.

It is understood that Serco management’s push to use a greater degree of force to end the protests is creating concern among Serco guards who are increasingly worried at the use of force against the asylum seekers. Serco is proposing to single out detainees to be handcuffed, placed in a padded helmet and imprisoned in the Red 1 management compound.

For more information, contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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