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September 15, 2011


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Asylum seekers at Darwin detention will stage a roof top protest beginning at 12 noon Darwin time.

The protest is an escalation of the daily protests (12.00-1pm and 6-7pm) that have been taking place inside the Darwin detention centre for the last 12 days.

The protests inside the detention centre are focussed on the lengthy delays in processing asylum claims. Most in Darwin have been in detention for well over a year, some for as much as two years.

The roof is close enough to the road for questions and answers to be exchanged between the protesters and media or others gathered at the fence of the detention centre.

Tensions have been rising for some time over the delays and lack of transparency in the processing arrangements. But anger has been building, in particular, over the last five days at the failure of the DIAC manager to fulfil his promise made to a protest meeting five days ago that he would bring answers back to a meeting.

“The guys have been patiently waiting for the manager to make good his promise, but he hasn’t even had the courtesy to report back to them,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Burial” protest wins

Today’s protest action has been fuelled by the success of the “burial” protest in south 2, won answers from the DIAC manager for a number of the south 2 protesters would get answers by a definite date. Although the exact numbers are not known, it is understood that all the categories of people – those waiting for security clearances, those waiting for appeal dates and those waiting for appeal decisions were given answers.

Minister’s hypocrisy

“Darwin is just the tip of the detention iceberg. There is a rolling crisis of long term detention in every detention centre. The government could release all those waiting for security clearances and give definite dates for people waiting for appeal decision. Minister Bowen talks about Nauru breaking people’s spirit – that is exactly what his own detention regime is doing.

“You don’t need to go to Malaysia or Nauru to see what inhumanity looks like,” said Ian Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417275713

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