Socialist youth launch hunger strike for Manus Island refugees

Issue 
More than 700 asylum seekers on Manus Island enter their eighth day of hunger strike, and up to 200 are suffering dehydration.

The statement below was released by Resistance Young Socialist Alliance on January 20.

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Popular concern grows for the well-being of refugees in detention, as more than 700 asylum seekers on Manus Island enter their eighth day of hunger strike, and up to 200 are suffering dehydration.

Witnessing an outpour of reports detailing increasingly desperate acts of self harm, the Australian public stands up to say enough to the torture of refugees, and calls on the Coalition government for compassion.

To draw attention to these human rights abuses by the Australian government, and to support the protest of the asylum seekers on Manus Island, members of Resistance Young Socialist Alliance are entering a national 24 hour hunger strike, from 12pm EST on January 20 to 12pm the next day

On the protest, Resistance Young Socialist Alliance said: "We are embarking on a mass hunger strike in solidarity with the brave struggle of the asylum seekers on Manus Island.

"We join their protest against the cruel, and inhumane treatment of refugees on Manus Island, Nauru, and the camps within Australia. We add our voices to theirs, and demand an end to the violence and neglect of asylum seekers in Australia.

"It is our belief that no human being is ever illegal, that migration is a human right and that the Australian government should release every person unjustly jailed in the detention centre system.

"We unwaveringly support the right of asylum seekers to protest their illegal imprisonment and echo their demand for an end to the callous policy of mandatory detention."

Resistance Young Socialist Alliance co-convener Sian Cumberland asserted: "The government has purposely turned a blind eye to the suffering of refugees on Manus Island. We need to continue to put pressure on the government and make it clear that they have blood on their hands."

Resistance Young Socialist Alliance continues to commit itself to the struggle for refugee rights. The cruelty must end: Let them land, let them stay.

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