December 15, 2012
FOUR asylum seekers, detained at Yongah Hill IDC have been on hunger strike for a week now. The strike began after processing of their claims for protection did not start even after 8 months of their arrival; sources from inside the centre told HazaraAsylumSeekers.
According to Barkat Ai Wahidi – one of the hunger strike participants, four asylum seekers including him, are on hunger strike because, despite arriving well before the implementation of the current so-called ‘No Advantage’ policy, their claims are being put on halt. They arrived in Christmas Island on the 7th of May, 2012 but no interview whatsoever regarding their claim has been taken yet by DIAC to this date.
Email/plea of the detainees read;
“We are appealing you and Refugee Advocates, to please kindly confirm our cases, because we are very confused about our case process. Our boat fellows, they got their visa three months ago but up until now we haven’t met any lawyer or judge for any interview process. Even those, who had come after 13th of August 2012 in new law they went out from detention center but we are still in Yongah Hill detention center. We (four persons) are left from this boat. When we asked DIAC about this, they always say minister is not signing your file”.
Their boat number is SIEV – EBO 326 – a number that Authorities usually give to Asylum Seeker boats.
Their Names and Client Identification Numbers are as follows;
- BARKAT ALI WAHIDE ( EBO 47 )
- GHULAM SAKHI ( EBO 45 )
- SYED MOHAMMAD NABI ( EBO 39 )
- HAIDER ALI ( EBO 72 )
It has been 8 months now, since they arrived in Australia, but it seems very peculiar, WHY DIAC did not start their interviews in order to assess their claims.
Since every individual has unique circumstances, therefore time taken in order to determine someone’s Refugee status may vary but for initial interview or the commencement of the process (for most of the asylum seekers) it only takes approximately 2 – 3 months, which ironically in aforementioned FOUR asylum seeker’s cases is not happening.
* The Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) commenced operations in June 2012. The facility is located about 5 kilometres from the town centre of Northam. Northam is a small town about 97 kilometres north-east of Perth. (Immigration Website)