Sydney: Four arrested as protesters clash with police outside Villawood detention centre

25 March 2017 – Protesters have camped outside Villawood detention centre overnight despite the arrest of four people yesterday.

The riot squad was called in at 3.30pm after an initial group of 30 protesters grew to around 70 and began blocking traffic on Birmingham Road.

Police said the group, who were gathered at the detention centre to protest the deportation of a 60-year-old Iraqi man identified only as Saeed, began to impede traffic in and out of the facility.

“This is kind the kind of horrible rise of racism we’re trying to fight here,” Josh Lees, a protester from the Refugee Action Coalition, said.

“We want to see a world of equality and justice not a world of division and hatred and racism.”

Protesters allegedly ignored several move-on directions from police and tried to break a police line, which was formed to allow traffic flow into the facility, just before 7.30pm.

Two men and two women were subsequently arrested.


The protesters allegedly tried to break the police line.

The two women, aged 25 and 29, were later released for breaching the peace.

An 18-year-old man, who was chased down a storm drain before being arrested, was charged with assaulting police and resisting arrest. He was granted bail and is expected to front court on April 12.

A 25-year-old man was issued with  a Field Court Attendance Notice for assaulting police.

A police officer suffered minor injuries during the protest.

A small group of demonstrators camped out overnight at the detention centre to continue the protest.

One protester said they were “physically” trying to stop the deportation of the man.

“We’re trying to physically prevent a deportation of man who, if he is deported, his life is at risk,” she said.

“We’re not protesting, we’re actually trying to stop our government from violating international law.”

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today confirmed Saeed will be deported.

Sydney: Jail terms for asylum seekers involved in 2011 riot at the Villawood detention centre

June 28: Four asylum seekers who took part in a violent uprising which caused $9 million in damage to the Villawood detention centre have been jailed for their parts in the 2011 riots.

Serco’s detention centre staff were pelted with roof tiles and threatened with uprooted soccer goalposts as detainees repeatedly chanted “freedom’’ during the wild protests, the Supreme Court heard today.

Several asylum seekers were also heard shouting: “F… Australia, f… immigration, f… Serco”.

Justice Robert Hulme this morning said he accepted the men’s behaviour was born out of “frustration and despair” at being held in the centre, but that didn’t excuse “mob violence”.

“Nobody can question that there is a right to protest, but the use of violence is completely unacceptable,” he said.

The four men, Mohammed Naim Amiri, Taleb Feili, Majid Parhizar and Ali Haidari, were found guilty of rioting during a trial earlier this year in which 12 Iraqi and Afghani asylum seekers were initially accused of the crime.

Justice Hulme today sentenced them to spend a minimum of between 14 and 22 months behind bars, although with time already served the first will be eligible for release in October. Continue reading “Sydney: Jail terms for asylum seekers involved in 2011 riot at the Villawood detention centre”

Sydney: Villawood detainee dies in hospital window fall

21 April: A Papua New Guinea man has died after plummeting from the fifth floor of a southwest Sydney hospital where he was being treated after attempting to harm himself in an immigration detention centre.

Police spent more than two hours trying to negotiate with the 33-year-old, who they say was trying to throw himself out of the window at Liverpool Hospital.

A police spokesman said the man was believed to be from PNG and was in Australia illegally. An immigration department spokeswoman later said the man had been awaiting deportation. He had been taken to hospital from Sydney’s Villawood detention centre where he had attempted self-harm.

The man fell from a ledge outside the window at around 11.30am (AEST) on Saturday and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sydney: Four found guilty over Villawood riot, others aquitted

April 17: FOUR men have been found guilty of rioting at the Villawood Detention Centre in 2011 when three buildings were burnt down and pillows and bins set alight.

Twelve men went on trial in February, after being charged with riot and affray at the centre in Sydney’s southwest on April 20, while another was accused of aiding and abetting them. On Wednesday a jury found four of the men guilty of rioting.

At least two others were found guilty of the lesser charge of affray, while others were acquitted altogether. Three men who pleaded guilty to the charges were sentence to between 15 and 18 in jail earlier in April. Another man was sentenced to jail in December. Continue reading “Sydney: Four found guilty over Villawood riot, others aquitted”

Sydney: Three jailed over riot at Villawood

April 7: Three asylum seekers who wanted their plight noticed by the United Nations have been jailed for their part in a fire and riot at Villawood detention centre that caused $9 million of damage.

In sentencing the men, Justice Robert Hulme took into account their depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Two of the men had witnessed multiple suicides while in detention, the NSW Supreme Court heard.

The men, who are of Hazara and Kurdish ethnicity, received sentences of between 15 and 18 months after pleading guilty to the charge of affray, after climbing on to the roof of the detention centre in April 2011. Some protesters threw tiles from the roof. Continue reading “Sydney: Three jailed over riot at Villawood”

Sydney: man faces deportation after sentencing for Villawood riot

7 December: A Villawood detainee who sprayed and threw fire extinguishers at security officers during a riot at the immigration detention centre has been sentenced to at least 16 months’ jail.

However, Mahmoud Reza Dadash has already served his minimum sentence and should be immediately released on parole, a NSW Supreme Court judge has ordered.

He is expected to be deported to his home country of Iran, after applying to return to the country.

Justice Robert Allan Hulme on Friday sentenced Dadash, 28, to a maximum of 21 months for his part in the “particularly nasty” riot on April 20 last year. Dadash had pleaded guilty to affray over his part in the riot, which led to nine buildings at the centre being destroyed by fire.

The court heard Dadash was one of several detainees who protested on the centre’s roof, and he yelled “F*** you. F*** you up the a***. F*** immigration” at security officers before spraying a number of fire extinguishers at them. Continue reading “Sydney: man faces deportation after sentencing for Villawood riot”

Sydney: Fijians end Villawood rooftop protest

16 November: Three Fijian nationals have ended their rooftop protest at Villawood detention centre near Sydney, Australia.

Australia’s immigration department says that police and authorities successfully talked two people down yesterday afternoon. The third man had ended his protest the previous night, without being offered any concessions. All three were said to be in good health and were being cared for at the centre.

Australian media reported that the protest was started by the woman, who feared her deportation was imminent.

Sydney: Three people protest on roof at Villawood

November 12, Refugee Action Coalition: Three asylum seekers, including a female Fijian asylum seeker, scheduled for deportation today, has taken to the roof of a building at Villawood detention centre in last desperate attempt to prevent the woman’s removal. The three climbed onto the roof around 7.00am this morning when guards came to take the Fijian woman to the airport.

Her husband who is scheduled for removal tomorrow, Tuesday, is still in the Villawood detention centre. Continue reading “Sydney: Three people protest on roof at Villawood”

Sydney: alleged Villawood rioters plead not guilty

August 17:  Seven of the 16 asylum seekers charged over a riot at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre have pleaded not guilty.

In April last year, nine buildings at Villawood Detention Centre burned down in a two-day riot involving up to 100 detainees.

Sixteen men, mainly from Iran and Afghanistan, were charged. Seven of the men pleaded not guilty at the Supreme Court in Sydney this morning. They face two charges each – one of unlawful violence and another of threatening Serco staff. Continue reading “Sydney: alleged Villawood rioters plead not guilty”

Sydney: March 9 International Day of Action Against Serco: Report-back

Indymedia. On Friday 9th of March in response to a call for an international day of action against Serco, a British corporation running government services around the world, from juvenile and adult prisons to immigrant detention centres, to army bases in Afghanistan, to speed cameras in Victoria, parking meters in Chicago, and soon the Sydney Ferry system.

Demonstrations were held in London, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, where a number of coordinated demonstrations were held throughout the day. Continue reading “Sydney: March 9 International Day of Action Against Serco: Report-back”