June 23, 2017 – Refugee Supporters drop banner off Channel 7 Melbourne, in view of Border Force Headquarters
This morning, refugee supporters from the Whistleblowers, Activists and Citizens Alliance (WACA) have hung a banner reading “Border Force Tortures Refugees – Deportations = Death” off the Channel 7 building in Melbourne’s Docklands precinct to draw media attention to the plight of refugees in on and offshore detention. Channel 7 itself is not a target of the action, rather the Channel 7 building is in a direct line of sight of the Border Force headquarters in Customs House, where operational matters in Manus Island and Nauru refugee detention camps are managed.
WACA spokesperson Zianna Fuad said “The federal government and its refugee detention industry contractors have again sought to avoid being held to account with their proposal to settle the Manus class action compensation case out of court. WACA has staged this action to call on the Federal Government to repeal the Border Force Act, evacuate the camps immediately, bring them here and end the illegal indefinite detention of refugees”.
“In proposing the settlement, the government denies all liability for the mistreatment and false imprisonment of people on Manus Island. Some of the claimants themselves have asked, what good is a few thousand dollars when they remain in unsafe conditions and in fear of deportation back to the danger that they fled? What good is hush money to people denied freedom and safety?”
By holding people in detention, the Australian government is breaching the international human rights of asylum seekers. Article 14.1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”.
WACA spokesperson Sam Castro stated:
“We can’t rely on the politicians, nor on the legal system that has been effectively bypassed. It is up to us to act to stop business as usual until the government closes the camps and safely re-settles the people it has illegally detained and tortured.”
“There will be no justice and no business as usual for the Government and their private contractors, until the asylum seekers and refugees held as political prisoners in Australia’s immigration detention centres are safely resettled”, she added.
Today’s action is a continuation of two shutdowns of Border Force by members of WACA, where they called for the sacking of Minister Dutton and the closure of all onshore and offshore detention centres. WACA is working alongside many other groups and individuals in Australia to bring justice to refugees that have been unfairly detained in horrifying circumstances and is demanding that the Government dismantle its offshore detention camps
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**This event takes place during Refugee week. We maintain that every week is Refugee week until there is no need for people to seek asylum.**
#CloseTheCamps #StopDeportations #BringThemHere #Justice4Refugees