Australian Open refugee protest

February 5, 2015
Protesters at the Australian Open tennis final.

Refugee activists interrupted the Australian Open tennis tournament during the men’s final, unfurling a banner demanding the closure of the Manus Island immigration detention centre.

In the middle of the second set, protesters draped the banner over the court wall. The protest was filmed by television cameras and broadcast around the world.

The banner read “Australia Open for refugees” with the hashtag #shutdownmanus. Two women who jumped on court were arrested, while at least another four people — wearing handmade “Australia Open for Refugees” shirts — were evicted from the match.

The group behind the protest said in a statement: “We have created this international media spectacle today to expose the torture, abuse, and horrific conditions that are being perpetrated on Manus Island.

“We will not be silent. We are drawing a line with this issue. If we allow this to happen, there is no end to what this government is capable of.”

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