Melbourne rally to support hunger-striking refugees

Hundreds rallied in Melbourne to close Manus, close Nauru and stop offshore detention. Photo: Hippie Terra/Facebook

On January 21, hundreds of people rallied in Melbourne in support of the ongoing hunger strike on Manus Island.

Katie Roberston, a social justice lawyer said "What is going on in Australia when people in New York are rallying against our human rights abuses. Our government does not respect human rights in relation to refugees and it is getting worse everyday. The Immigration Minister can bring these people back to Australia but he chooses not to."

A phone call was made to "John" who is imprisoned on Manus. He said "We have been on Manus for 18 months. All the people on Manus are sick of waiting. We are hunger striking to ask the question why are we stuck here? Our hunger strike will continue. We will die with our dignity."

Mohammed Baqiri, a former detainee on Nauru detention centre said "fleeing on a boat was better than being killed in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has given me nothing except pain and suffering. When we flee here for safety, we end up being tortured in those detention centres."

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