Darwin

In the wake of acts of self-harm and protests by detained refugees, people in Darwin gathered to show their support for a more humane refugee solution. Twenty people rallied outside the offices of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) on October 26 to call for and end to mandatory detention and oppose the proposed new detention centre at Wickham Point.
The Darwin Asylum Seekers Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on October 25. * * * A Burmese refugee has resumed his protest on the roof of the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC). The man, who has been in detention just under 2 years, began his protest on Sunday night and was up there for several hours before receiving an electric shock from the fence surrounding the Centre and coming down off the roof.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on October 9. * * * The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has called on NT members of the federal government, member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and Senator Trish Crossin, to vote against legislation to be introduced this week that would allow the offshore processing of asylum seekers. Snowdon was reported as strongly supporting the proposed amendments in caucus.
A dozen members of Darwin's legal community presented a letter to ALP MP Warren Snowdon on September 2 calling for the federal government to comply with the High Court's recent decision on the "Malaysian Solution". The High Court said the ALP government's plan to deport refugees to Malaysia was illegal. The letter called on federal politicians to ensure the speedy resolution of asylum seeker claims, universal access to legal representation and an end to mandatory detention.
Curator Vikki Riley opened Footprints of my Heart ― an exhibition of artwork by 20 refugees in the Darwin region ― on August 11. The exhibition ran at the Darwin Supreme Court from August 11 to 19. Many of the artists were still in detention, at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre, the Airport Lodge or the Asti Hotel under guard. Some of the artists were regarded as “high risk” by immigration authorities and were accompanied to the opening by three security guards each.
A Rohingyan Burmese asylum seeker faced Darwin Magistrates court on August 15, charged with assaulting a Serco employee at the Nothern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) early on August 12. Serco is the private prison corporation that runs Australia’s immigration jails. The refugee was involved, with two others, in a two-hour peaceful protest earlier that night. He has been in detention for 21 months. The immigration department has granted him refugee status, but for more than a year he has been waiting for an ASIO security clearance.
Five activists from Anti-Nuclear NT (ANNT) gathered outside the offices of Energy Resources Australia (ERA) on August 9. They were congratulating the company on its decision to abandon plans to use acid heap leeching at its Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu national park. Acid heap leeching uses thousands of tonnes of highly toxic acid to release uranium oxide from the soil. It would have sent hundreds of acid-filled trucks along the Northern Territory’s Stuart Highway each day.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) released the statement below on August 3. * * * DASSAN today expressed concern about the increase of the number of children being detained in immigration detention centres in Darwin. As at August 3, figures provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship indicated that there are currently 180 children being detained in Darwin.
About 80 people gathered on July 28 at the Holiday Inn on Darwin’s Esplanade for one of the federal government’s “consultations”. One woman said: “It’s a bit late, mate.”
The released a new document on July 20 that detailed several disastrous events over the recent wet season at the Ranger uranium mine in Kakadu national park. The document revealed ongoing seepage from the tailings storage facility at the mine. It also said the mine was unable to effectively deal with the millions of litres of contaminated water generated.
Sara Hudson, a research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, recently wrote that supported the Northern Territory intervention. It also attacked public land title in remote Aboriginal communities. The article was what you might expect from a research fellow from the conservative think tank. "Public bad, private good", and so on. But one passage stood out to me, given I had visited many remote Aboriginal communities recently.
A Darwin-based asylum seeker support group today called on the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen, to honour his promise to remove children from detention by the end of June. In excess of 100 children remain in immigration detention in Darwin. Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) spokesperson Kevin Kadirgamar described the situation as "very concerning". "The fact that in excess of 100 children remain in detention in Darwin only weeks out from the Minister's deadline suggests that the government is not serious about its undertaking," he said on June 1.
The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released this below statement on May 20. Visit http://dassan.wordpress.com/ * * * Members of the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network have learnt that two asylum seekers at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre in Darwin attempted suicide on Wednesday May 18. The men cut their wrists and one was taken to Royal Darwin Hospital for treatment.
Below is a letter from a 17 year old Afghani man, who has been held in a Darwin detention centre for more than a year. * * * The refugee has a question. Best regards to Australia, the country in which people, all human beings, are equal; and all people from different ethnics, cultures and languages have the same rights. Australia is one of the most civilised countries in the world. All people are literate. People work according to their expertness.
A dozen protesters gathered outside the April 13 annual general meeting of Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) to call for the Ranger uranium mine to be closed because a dam containing radioactive mine tailings is close to overflowing. Protesters dressed as clowns and set up a wading pool full of “nuclear waste” to highlight the risks of radioactive contamination that the “clowns” at ERA are ignoring. They said it was apt that the meeting was held at Darwin’s Sky City Casino because ERA was gambling with nuclear safety.

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