Tamil asylum seeker

More than 100 people marched in Northcote on March 10 in support of refugee rights. The rally was called by the Refugee Action Collective to focus attention on refugees in the context of the Batman by-election.

Aziz Muhammad, who has been imprisoned on Manus Island for 5 years, spoke to the rally via skype. He spoke of the “terrible” conditions on Manus Island. The three camps where refugees are living are overcrowded. There is no proper medical care. Mental health is deteriorating, as people see no hope. Refugees have been badly beaten by local people.

More than 60 people took part in a vigil outside the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court on September 2 to support Jasmine Pilbrow who was found guilty of “interference with a crew member of an aircraft”.

In February last year, Pilbrow refused to take her seat on a Qantas aircraft in which a Tamil asylum seeker was being taken to Darwin before being deported to Sri Lanka.

Melanie Brown told the gathering her friend had peacefully explained to others on the plane her reasons for taking the action. Two other people then also stood up.

A Tamil man in Villawood detention centre is facing imminent deportation to Sri Lanka today, Thursday 1 September.

At short notice, several refugee rights activists and members of the Tamil community gathered outside Villawood Detention Centre to protest the deportation this morning.

Lawyers have filed for an injunction in the courts, and are waiting for the verdict.

Raj Kumar (not his real name) is 46 year's old and has spent four years in detention.

Two of his brothers have been killed in Sri Lanka.

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