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April 18, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

At least four Iranian asylum seekers have begun a roof top protest at Darwin’s most notorious detention centre, Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) on the Stuart Highway.

The protest began around 4.40pm Darwin time.

They have been chanting “freedom” and also have the word written on their shirts.

The protest follows a meeting with immigration offcials yesterday (Tuesday) when asylum seekers demanded answers to their refugee claims.

Although NIDC now has only around 50 asylum seekers, most of them are long term detainees and have been detained for many months with some almost waiting for two years.

NIDC has been a notorious for the high number of self harm and attempted suicide incidents – a hell-hole every bit as bad as Woomera, Port hedland or Baxter under the Howard government.

On Easter weekend, Serco guards warned asylum seekers not to support protests in any way; threatening to send their files to the Federal Police; to end any moves for community detention and send them to punishment cells on Christmas Island.

“The Immigration Minister has boasted about the number of people getting bridging visas or community detention. But hundreds of long term detainees, a thousand in detention longer than 18 months, are still in detention. It no wonder they are forced to protest,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“There are Iranian, Faili Kurds and other stateless asylum seekers that the governemnt knows cannot be sent back, but they are needlessly subjected to misery of mandatory detention.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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