Melbourne protesters say: ‘Bring them here’

Saturday, April 22, 2017

About 150 people joined an emergency protest in Melbourne on April 17 telling the government to bring the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia.

The protest came after sailors from the Papua New Guinea navy fired shots into the detention centre and locals attacked refugees.

Behrouz Boochani, a refugee who is detained on Manus Island reported: "Three refugees and some Australian officers have been injured seriously. A refugee from Sudan has been injured in his head and another Sudanese man injured in his chest. A Pakistani refugee has been injured in his stomach and is urinating blood. Also some Australian officers have been injured seriously and did not come to work today. All of these injuries were caused by stones thrown by local people and not because of gun shots."

Aran Mylvaganam from the Tamil Refugee Council urged people to "defend these refugees using whatever means necessary”.

“Our government will not do it because this is what they wanted to see,” he said. "They want to torture these refugees so that others who are waiting to flee their countries will not choose to come here."

He called on Australians and the trade union movement to "lead the fight back" and close the torture camps. "Your silence is costing lives," he said.

Abdul-Hadi Matar, a Sudanese refugee and President of Darfur Humanitarian Advocacy Association said: "They call them detention centres but they are really concentration camps. This is history repeating itself. The best solution is to bring them to Australia."

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