Tag Archives: refugee action collective

Refugee slams party ‘games’ at Vic rally

August 24, 2013 | AAP

A REFUGEE who spent years in detention has slammed big political parties at a Melbourne rally in support of asylum seekers.

Mohammad Ali Baqiri, 22, told a few hundred protesters gathered outside the State Library that both Labor and the coalition have forgotten how asylum seekers are fleeing for their lives – like he did as a child in 2001.

“My country, Afghanistan, has nothing. It has given my people nothing except for pain and suffering,” he told the crowd.

“And they don’t even realise it – they just like to play their own games on who can be elected.”

Mr Baqiri said his family used a people smuggler to send him by boat to Australia, but the vessel was intercepted and he was sent to Nauru for three years before he was finally granted asylum.

He is now studying business and law at Victoria University.

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He said Labor is simply dumping Australia’s refugee intake responsibilities on to smaller countries while the coalition’s boat buy-back plan is ridiculous.

“Good luck with that,” he quipped.

“They are playing with innocent peoples’ lives. They need to realise that.”

Similar rallies were also held in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra on Saturday as part of a national day of action by refugee advocates.

Amanda Zivcic of the Refugee Action Collective said they wanted to counter-balance the fearmongering seen in the election debate.

“Whoever wins this coming election is going to be a loss to refugees,” she said.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/breaking-news/refugee-slams-party-games-at-vic-rally/story-fn3dxiwe-1226703408886


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Filed under Asylum Policy, Human Rights and Refugee Activists, PNG/Pacific Solution

Detention centre visit cancelled in ‘retaliaton’

April 27, 2013

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Refugee advocates have claimed visits to the Broadmeadow detention centre have been cancelled on the same day of their latest protest.

The Refugee Action Collective has planned a rally outside the Camp Road centre on Sunday, where two asylum seekers attempted suicide this week.

RAC spokeswoman Daniella Olea said the cancelled visits and excursions were cancelled in “retaliation” against the protest.

“I am disgusted and very upset. This is clearly a punitive decision which is used to deter protest at the centre and used to divide refugee supporters,” she said.

“Refugees have told us how important rallies are for them. Rallies bring people together to expose the lies and shine a spot light at these mental illness factories. The timing of protest doesn’t interfere with excursion or visits.”

The protest will go ahead, she said.

A Department of Immigration spokeswoman said the suspension of visits was done purely for operational purposes.

“The department categorically rejects any suggestion that the Refugee Action Collective protest was the reason for the suspension for visits.

The department fully supports SERCO’s [the company that runs the centre] decision, including the rare occasions it may choose to suspend visit,” she said.

A 17-year-old boy from Iraq and Hazara man in his 20s tried to take their own lives in separate incidents on Wednesday at the centre. Earlier this month, 27 detainees, mainly from Sri Lanka, held a hunger strike against their detention.

Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor told Fairfax Media earlier this month that the asylum seeker’s behaviour would not change the process.

He said the government “will never make any policy changes based around any particular withdrawal of eating or other forms of conduct”.

Asylum seeker and refugee advocates have held rallies across the country since Anzac Day. The group has demanded an end to to mandatory detention and offshore processing.

The protest is scheduled for 1pm on Sunday.

Source: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/detention-centre-visit-cancelled-in-retaliaton-20130427-2il9g.html

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Filed under Human Rights and Refugee Activists