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August 26, 2012

TAMPA DAY RALLY TO SUPPORT NAURU-BOUND HUNGER STRIKERS

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

A Brisbane rally called by the Refugee Action Collective for 1pm, Sunday 26th August, Brisbane Square to mark Tampa Day will also declare its support for the protesting asylum seekers on Christmas Island. (Details below).

Messages from Christmas Island indicate that there are around 67 Afghan asylum seekers on hunger strike on Christmas Island.

The 80 asylum seekers who arrived at Christmas Island on 16 August were told on the afternoon of Friday 24 August that the government intended to send them to Nauru to be processed.

Scores of Federal Police have been mobilised to occupy the North West Point detention centre on Christmas Island. A large number of the police are in the compound housing the protesting asylum seekers.

One Iranian asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition that they “are like special forces in Iran, we see these kind of forces when there are protests against the Islamic regime.”

The hunger strikers say that their treatment is unfair – they were not aware of any changed policy by the Australian government, and they were actually rescued on the 12 August on their way to Christmas Island.

“We are not happy to go to Nauru island, as far as we know this rule was passed by Senate in 17 August but we arrived in 16th August,” one hunger striker said.

The rally will call for an end to the Gillard government’s Pacific Solution 2.0 and an end to off-shore processing.

“It is black political irony that the 11 years after the Howard government turned back hundreds of Afghan asylum seekers on the Mv Tampa, a Gillard Labor is holding 80 Afghan asylum seekers to expel them to Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition.

Speakers at the Brisbane rally include, Andrew Bartlett, former Senator and visitor to Nauru; Father Pan Jordon – Tamil Community; Michael Cope – President Queensland Council of Civil Liberties; Ian Rintoul – Refugee Action Coalition and Ahmad Hamid – Human rights activist from Brisbane’s Ahwazi Community.

For more information call Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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