refugee rights

The University of Sydney Resistance club held a #LetThemStay action on campus on February 24 which was endorsed by the Sydney University Postgraduate Representative Association (SUPRA) and attended by Labor, Greens, socialists and LGBTIQ activists on campus.
Sam Wainwright, Socialist Alliance councillor on Fremantle Council, successfully moved the following motion at council’s February 24 meeting: 1. Supports the Palm Sunday Walk for Refugees — March 20, 1pm St George's Cathedral; 2. Calls on the Malcolm Turnbull government to let the 267 refugees that it wants to deport stay; 3. Commits Fremantle to stop doing business with companies who are contracted to run the detention centres, such as Broadspectrum and Wilson Security; and 4. Calls for an end to the offshore mandatory detention regime and boat "turnbacks".
Baby Asha is facing possible deportation to Nauru. Over the last week there have being ongoing protests outside Lady Cilento children's hospital in Brisbane, with health professionals at the hospital refusing to discharge baby Asha whilst she could be sent to Nauru. (Read more here: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61088) 11:21
The vigil for baby Asha outside the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane continues, as the hospital joined a growing group of institutions offering sanctuary to refugee families. In a statement on February 12, a Lady Cilento Children's Hospital spokesperson said: “Children's Health Queensland can confirm that a 12-month-old girl from the Nauru Detention Centre is currently receiving care at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. “As is the case with every child who presents at the hospital, this patient will only be discharged once a suitable home environment is identified.
The #LetThemStay vigil outside Lady Cilento Hospital is a rare and remarkable moment for Brisbane, not only because it makes visible the resurgence of public concern about our government's inhumane treatment of asylum seekers, but because it's already one of the most significant radical uses of urban space this city has seen in decades.
Thousands of people turned out around the country as part of #LetThemStay rallies in opposition to the governments plans to send 267 vulnerable people including babies and women who have being sexually assaulted to Nauru. After the high court ruled on Wednesday 3 February it was not illegal for the government to detain people on Nauru. Read 5 reasons to say #LetThemStay here: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/60991 Sydney Photos by: Zebedee Parkes
More than 50 teachers at Yeronga State High School in Brisbane, including principal Terry Heath, held an afternoon strike on November 17 as part of their campaign to free 21-year-old Mojgan Shamsalipoor from immigration detention.
Despite the immigration minister's attempts to block information and ban journalists from offshore detention camps, information continues to leak out. Ali Bakhtiarvandi was held in immigration detention for four and a half years in the early 2000s before being recognised as a refugee. He is in regular telephone contact with detainees on Christmas Island. He spoke to Green Left Weekly's Chris Peterson about the recent events on Christmas Island. * * *
Paediatricians and health workers and researchers in Darwin gathered at the Royal Darwin Hospital campus on October 29 to make a public statement that "Detention Harms Children". The protest followed the weekly Paediatric Grand Round meeting that focused on the impact of trauma on refugee and asylum seeker children. Staff from Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne and Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane have held similar protests in recent weeks.
Iranian refugee Majid Rabet could not hold back his tears as he recounted the details of the suicide of his best friend, an Iraqi refugee, in Villawood Detention Centre. “I was the first person who went in the bathroom and saw he hanged himself. I lifted him upwards to keep him alive, but he was already dead,” Majid said.
New revelations shed light on the cruelty being inflicted on refugees in Australia's offshore detention centres. They come just days after the Department of Immigration and Border Protection sent a pregnant Somali refugee woman back to Nauru where she had been raped. Abyan, as she is known, was transferred to Villawood detention centre on October 11 from Nauru where she was going to speak with doctors about her desire for a termination.
Khodayar Amini, an Afghan Hazara asylum seeker who feared immigration authorities were planning to put him back in detention, has died after set himself alight on October 18. Amini had been released from Yongah Hill detention centre in Western Australia on a bridging visa after more than two years in detention. Shortly before killing himself, Amini spoke via video phone to Sarah Ross and Michelle Bui from the Refugee Rights Action Network (WA), telling them that he would rather kill himself rather than go back to detention.
Hundreds gathered outside the Immigration Department office in Melbourne on October 19, chanting, “Bring back Abyan” and “Close Nauru, close Manus”. Rallies were also held that day outside Immigration Department offices in Sydney and Darwin. In Brisbane, protesters targeted immigration minister Peter Dutton's office on October 21. Protests were also held in Canberra, Sydney and Perth on October 23 and Melbourne on October 24.
Staff at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane have followed in the footsteps of colleagues at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital and called for the immediate release of children being held in immigration detention centres.
Sam (named changed) is a young refugee from Burundi who came to Australia in 2011 on a Protection Visa. However his visa has expired and the government wants to send him back. Burundi is currently engulfed by a civil war between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes. Unrest is growing because the opposition has accused President Pierre Nkurunzizi, a former Hutu leader, of violating the constitution that places a two-term limit on presidents. Nkurunzizi was re-elected for a third term in 2015.
The global refugee crisis has its roots in the wars waged by global powers for resources and territory. These conflicts have left millions of people displaced and driven hundreds of thousands to seek safety and protection in countries like Australia. Increasingly, climate change is becoming a second front of the refugee crisis as global food supplies are ravaged and sea level rises threaten the populations of island nations.

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