Labor must end immigration detention and offshore processing, protesters say

July 24, 2023
Refugee rights activists call for policy changes. Photo: Alex Salmon

More than 70 people gathered on July 22 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the announcement by then Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that “any asylum seeker who arrives by boat will have no prospect of being resettled in Australia, and will never permanently live in Australia”.

The protest was organised by Refugee Rights Action Network WA.

The Liberal-National Coalition initiated “Operation Sovereign Borders” in September 2013. This military-led border security operation has been shrouded in secrecy to this day, despite Labor being elected.

It has led to thousands of people being stranded in transit countries, such as Indonesia.

While being addressed by speakers, people unfurled banners documenting the various human rights abuses against refugees; more than 3000 asylum seekers have been subjected to offshore detention and 14 refugees, including Reza Berratti, have died.

The protest demanded that Labor end immigration detention and offshore processing, and provide permanent safety for all refugees. It also called for an end to boat turn-backs.

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