Mohammad Imran, a refugee recently freed from detention, urged a public forum organised by the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria) on February 8 not to forget about those still in detention.
There are still 12 refugees detained in the Park Hotel, as well as more than 100 elsewhere in Australia and several hundred still being held offshore.
The forum was held in Lincoln Park, adjacent to the Park Hotel where Imran had been detained along with 60 other refugees.
Farhad Rahmati, who is detained in Sydney’s Villawood detention centre, addressed the meeting by phone, as did Don, a Rohingya refugee still detained in the Park Hotel.
Anna Kingston from RAC elaborated on the problems the recently released refugees now face, including the fact that they are on 6 month visas with no right to JobSeeker nor the right to study.
They have the right to work, but little prospect of finding a job in the economic downturn. RAC is campaigning for refugees to be permanent visas and access to health care, education, housing and social services.