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April 7, 2012

FIRST REPORTED INSTANCE OF SELF HARM AT WICKHAM POINT

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

REFUGEE PROTESTERS TARGET DARWIN’S BIGGEST DETENTION CENTRE

Reliable reports from inside the Wickham Point detention centre indicate that an asylum seeker has been hospitalised following a self-harm incident at the new detention centre.

The news has shocked the refugee protesters already gathered in Darwin over Easter to draw attention to the reality of mandatory detention.

“We had already planned a protest at Wickham Point, but this report will give an added urgency to the protest,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Darwin refugee convergence.

“The Immigration Department bragged about the facility at Wickham Point. It was only opened in December 2011. It was meant to be a model alternative to the toxic environment at NIDC, but this incident shows that a cage is still a cage.”

Refugee supporters will target Darwin’s newest and biggest detention centre, Wickham Point, tomorrow, Sunday 8 April, 11am.

Successful protests on Saturday morning saw asylum seekers take to the roof of NIDC to respond to the protesters outside the detention centre. Hundreds more families and children at Darwin’s Airport Lodge held makeshift banners and placards to greet the refugee supporters on Saturday afternoon.

Following Sunday’s protest at Wickham Point, the refugee convergence will stage a picket of Robertson barracks on the Stuart Highway to highlight the hypocrisy of welcoming a permanent US base to Darwin, while down the road, Afghan asylum seekers, the victims of persecution in Afghanistan, are held in detention centres.

“It is more than ironic that the Australian government pretends that US and Australian troops are in Afghanistan to ‘make Afghanistan safe’ while those they are meant to protect are imprisoned when they seek safety in Australia,” said Ian Rintoul.

For more information, contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713.

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