This statement was released by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition on November 24. *** Nauru asylum seekers have renewed their hunger strike protest after rejecting the Nauru Foreign Minister’s proposal to begin initial interviews for the asylum seekers. More than 40 people in the last two days have joined the hunger strike from all the nationalities represented on Nauru — Iranian, Iraqi, Pakistani, Afghan and Sri Lankan.
Labor is making a full-scale assault on the right of refugees to seek protection, as it continues to fill the Nauru detention camp, forcibly deport hundreds back to Sri Lanka before hearing their claims for asylum and keep thousands in perpetual limbo in the name of “deterrence”. Now, the federal government has revealed its plans for the almost 8000 people that have arrived seeking asylum by boat in recent months. The plan is worse than the extreme temporary protection visas introduced by the former John Howard Government.
The Iranian asylum seeker who has maintained a 36-day hunger strike was admitted to hospital last night after he began excreting blood, the Refugee Action Coalition said. Ian Rintoul from RAC said: “The Minister says he opened Nauru because he was concerned about the loss of life at sea. He literally holds the power of life or death of at least one asylum seeker on Nauru. Is he going to turn a blind eye to one life that he could save?”
An Iranian man known as Omid, who is held in the Nauru detention camp, has been on hunger strike for 33 days. Refugees said medical staff had told Omid his kidneys and brain were going to fail and he would be moved to hospital “in the coming days”. The rest of the group decided to end their 13-day hunger strike this morning, said, after Amnesty International said it would visit the island on a fact-finding mission next week.
This month is the start of the wet season on the tiny island of Nauru, where more than 370 refugees are being detained in Australian army tents that leak and do nothing to keep mosquitoes out. In these appalling conditions, more than 300 men are refusing food and some are refusing water in a bid to have the department of immigration hear their claims for asylum. That’s right — people that came to Australia exercising their legal and moral right to seek protection are on a hunger strike because the Australian government has decided to make an example of them.
Asylum seekers imprisoned on Nauru released the statement below on November 5. The asylum seekers are currently on hunger strike, demanding that the Australian government process their claims for refugee status. * * * Today, dated 5/11/2012, we all asylum seekers in Nauru Hell are on hunger strikes. Today is our 5th day of hunger strike, and this is very clear from our hunger strike that in which conditions we are.
The refugees now holding an indefinite hunger strike in the Nauru detention camp released the statement below on November 2, updating the situation and explaining that several have been taken to the medical room and some have lost conciousness. The first refugees began refusing food on the morning of November 1, and others quickly joined. *** Date:02/11/2012 Time:11:00 pm Fifteen Asylum seekers became unconscious on second day of Hunger Strike in Nauru Hell. Till 7 asylum seekers have been become unconscious and taken to the medical rooms.
The following “Appeal of asylum seekers” was released by refugees on Nauru on October 31. It was addressed to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Australian MPs, the Nauru government, human rights commissions and the “rest of the world”. The men said on November 1 that they would begin a group hunger strike "for unknown time". "This is a clear message that we are not happy here, we want to go back from this Hell to Australia and we request to the Australia government to start our processing." ***
The statement below was released by the Sydney Refugee Action Coalition on October 31. *** At 6.00pm Nauruan time, an Iranian asylum seeker attempted to hang himself from a light pole inside the detention centre. The man jumped from the pole with a sheet around his neck but was other asylum seekers quickly took his weight. Asylum seekers had gathered around the pole appealing with the man, who was on the pole for around 15 minutes before he jumped. He was crying and saying, “I want to die,” and “I am tired of my life”.