16 Nov – Brisbane teachers will take industrial action on a human rights issue for the first time, continuing their campaign in protest against the Government’s detention of an asylum-seeker high school student.
Mojgan Shamsalipoor, 21, was months away from graduating at Yeronga State High School when she was forcibly removed from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation Centre in August and taken to a Darwin detention centre after a failed visa application.
Teachers at the school will hold a stop work meeting at 1:40pm on Tuesday as part of an ongoing campaign regarding the fight for the rights of Ms Shamsalipoor and other students on bridging visas, or no visas.
Students also will refuse to go to class, holding a sit-in to coincide with the industrial action, according to the school’s Queensland Teachers Union representative Jessica Walker.
Ms Walker said it would be the first time industrial action would be taken in relation to a human rights issue.
“We have grave concerns for Mojgan’s emotional wellbeing, and that of other students who are experiencing increased distress and a sense of hopelessness,” she said.
Ms Shamsalipoor fears returning to Iran, having arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 after fleeing sexual abuse and an arranged marriage to a man in his 60s.
Her asylum claim was rejected last year after she had lived in Australia for two years on a bridging visa.
12 Nov – Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed the Federal Government is facing a $10 million damage bill in the wake of this week’s riot at the Christmas Island detention centre, with centre operator Serco suspending three staff.
Another 10 detainees were transferred from the island today, after seven detainees suspected of being involved in the riot were yesterday flown to a maximum security prison in Perth.
Just how many of the detainees were involved in the riots is not clear, as communication with people inside the compound has been limited since Tuesday.
Mr Dutton said on Wednesday people “need to understand what we’re dealing with here” as he described the population at Christmas Island as “serious criminals” who had access to fuel and a chainsaw during the unrest.
But Refugee Action Coalition spokesman Ian Rintoul said the government was “overstating” its depiction of the centre as a place dominated by hardened criminals.
The department said on Wednesday afternoon: “Repairs are under way on accommodation compounds in the centre as a priority, with detainees accommodated overnight in temporary but secure parts of the centre. Reports of detainees sleeping in ‘cages’ are false.”
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has released footage and images showing extensive damage to the Christmas Island detention centre following rioting there.
The rioting began on Sunday evening following the death of Iranian Kurdish man Fazel Chegeni, whose body was found after he escaped the facility.
8 June: A Vietnamese man who escaped Serco guards at Perth Airport yesterday while he was being deported is still on the run.
An intensive search involving officers from the Australian Federal Police and WA Police from three stations, backed up by the dog squad, failed to locate the man.
The missing detainee, who is not known to be a threat to the public, was described by officials as “an illegal maritime arrival”.
An AFP spokeswoman said the man escaped while under escort in the international departures terminal.
“At about 9.15am local time a Vietnamese national absconded while on escort at the departures check-in area within the Perth International Airport,” he said about 6pm.
“AFP and WA Police were advised and police assisted Serco in the search for the individual. The man has yet to be located.