Luke Weyland

More than 2000 people rallied for permanent protection for refugees outside Parliament House. Luke Weyland reports.

Patrick Fisher was remembered by family and friends on the anniversary of his death in 2018. Luke Weyland reports.

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia has disputed home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s version of events which led to the organisation being told by the Nauruan government to leave on October 5.

On August 19, the refugee rights group People Just Like Us hosted another in its series of meetings in Parramatta Library. Speakers included Sayid Kasim, a Rohingya from Arkan and Salmore, a Rohingya from Myanmar who told their stories of fleeing for their lives. Rohingya are stateless people, victims of racism and genocide. Dhugel, from Bhutan, told of his escape via India to Nepal. Paul Power from the Refugee Council of Australia told the meeting that governments should listen to refugees when making policy. “They are not a threat to our values”, he said.
Sixty people listened as refugees gave harrowing accounts of what had led them to seek asylum in Australia at a forum in Parramatta on July 15 organised by People Just Like Us. Shokufa Tahiri and Ezatullah Salar spoke about the long history of oppression of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan. In 1890, Abdur Rahman Khan exterminated 63% of the minority group and until the 1930s Hazaras were systematically driven out of cities, and deprived of citizenship and education. Under the Taliban, it became a crime to be Hazara, Turkic or Shia.
Witnesses to the violence in the Manus Island detention centre spoke at a forum on March 17 organised by the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC) in Sydney. The forum was organised after the death of Reza Berati, who died on February 17 after being beaten by Papua New Guinea police and G4S staff during widespread violence that also injured 60 asylum seekers. The forum heard from the brother of a refugee detained on Manus Island, Samar; translator and former refugee Azita Bokan; and RAC spokesperson Ian Rintoul.
On September 10, 180 people attended a talk on HIV/AIDS given by retired high court judge Michael Kirby at the University of Western Sydney.
SYDNEY— On May 1, 100 people gathered inside NSW Parliament House for a meeting to discuss the need for abortion law reform in New South Wales.
From November 8-10 at least 135 detainees in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre refused to take any food or water. The hunger strike was suspended when the Immigration Department gave in to the strikers’ demand for consultation.
Bill Zhang, a Chinese refugee, killed himself after his forcible deportation from Australia, according to a June 16 ABC report. Zhang spent two years in Australia’s Villawood refugee prison.
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