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September 29, 2011


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Protests have again erupted in Darwin detention centre.

Starting yesterday, Wednesday 28 September, in south 2 compound, the scene of a mock burial protest two weeks ago, around 30 asylum seekers have again buried themselves in the construction hole in the compound.

From reports inside the detention it is understood that the asylum seekers have “taken over” the building site and building work has been halted. The asylum seekers have access to tools and construction items. They have given an ultimatum to the immigration department to ‘fix things in a few days’, or the protest will escalate.

Refugee advocates are concerned at the alarmist response from Serco. Some management reports have referred to clients “arming themselves” with stakes and other construction material. Serco has been drafting extra guards from other mainland detention centres to reinforce guard numbers at Darwin.

“The issues in south 2 are over the same issues as two weeks ago – the long delays and the lack of answers,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “The guys some good answers when they ended the protest two weeks ago, but people are angry that promises to get answers for others haven’t been fulfilled.

“There are no excuses for the long delays. Some people are waiting a few months for IMR decisions, some are waiting between 18 months and two years. There are almost 1600 people in detention waiting for ASIO security clearances. They could be released immediately.

“The government should now stop the blame game over boat arrivals. The vote in the parliament is about to kill off the Malaysia Agreement. The government need to urgently address the human rights abuses in the Australian detention centres. How much more self harm and how many more protests are needed before the government acts,” said Rintoul.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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