Kurdish refugee Farhad Bandesh, who is detained on Manus Island, addressed the Palm Sunday rally in Newcastle by phone. Here is an edited transcript of his speech.
The Australian Financial Review has revealed that the federal Coalition government awarded a $423 million security and cleaning contract for three Manus Island refugee detention centres to Paladin Group, a company that, at the time, was registered to a Kangaroo Island beach shack.
Just days after the latest — and largest — round of #KidsOffNauru protests, the federal government has said all children will be removed from Nauru by the end of the year.
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.
Twelve people have died in Australian offshore detention centres in the past five years as a result of murder, suicide and medical neglect, according to Angelica Panopoulos from the Refugee Action Collective (Victoria).
A group of 29 refugees, including eight children, became the fifth group of refugees to escape detention when they left Nauru on March 4 for resettlement in the US. The group consisted of Sri Lankan, Rohingyan and Afghan families, and single men from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Since the US resettlement deal began in September a total of 139 refugees have left Nauru and 85 have left Manus Island.
There have been numerous instances of human rights abuses since the Nauru detention centre was reopened in 2013 and then-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that no refugee who arrived by boat would ever be settled in Australia.
The Guardian’s Nauru Files gave detailed accounts of children being assaulted, women sexually abused by guards and suicide attempts being laughed at.
The Refugee Council of Australia called for a bipartisan commitment on offshore detention on February 1.
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The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has called on political leaders to urgently bring the people imprisoned on Manus Island and Nauru to safety in Australia.