HUMAN RIGHTS MEDIA RELEASE: THREE SRI LANKAN ASYLUM SEEKERS IN LIMBO - Their suffering continues. From Christmas Island to Prison to freedom to Darwin. More Lies. On October 22, 2009 the NOR 66 risked the high seas in a direct journey from Sri Lanka to Christmas Island, 27 days, with 30 Asylum Seekers. Three of them were Rwuan T. Senavirathna, Roshan Warnakulasuriya Fernando and Tharanga Warnakulasuriya Fernando (these two are cousins). Their are lives are at risk if they are returned to Sri Lanka.
Refugee Action Coalition Statement August 7th A 17 year-old female asylum-seeker due to be deported to Malaysia has attempted suicide in Christmas Island’s Bravo compound. Reports from Christmas Island indicate that the girl made the attempt around 1pm Christmas Island time (4pm AEST) while in the complex’s medical centre, where she had been taken as a result of her participation in the hunger strike and protest by asylum seekers facing deportation to Malaysia.
Australia is in the tragic phenomena of Detention Centre Deaths in Custody. Five suicides in the last ten months. Over a thousand suicide attempts and thousands of self-harms among our Asylum Seekers. There have been two suicide attempts at Darwin Immigration Centre, last night and yesterday. There shall be more. One Hazara man suffered a heart attack following efforts to rescue him from his suicide attempt.
"When the AFP and TRG boarded the plane for Christmas Island at 4pm last Friday, the Christmas island protest had just begun. It was a totally peaceful action with groups of men walking the 15 kilometres through the jungle to the inhabited parts of the island." writes Pamela Curr, Co-ordinator of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.
Over the next two days some went to the Mosque, some to the Construction Camp to visit family, some went swimming and some went to the airport to sit. No crime, no theft, absolutely peaceful.
Sydney Refugee Action Coalition Media Release 18 March, 2011 Police have used a stronger version of tear gas that has badly affected protesters inside the Christmas Island detention centre tonight (Thursday night), around 10.00pm Christmas Island time. Over 250 asylum seekers were involved in the protest. The protests started in response to a letter asylum seekers received from Canberra Thursday afternoon. While the whole content of the letter is not known, the letter says in part that security checks for those waiting would be completed by the end of April.
Refugee Action Coalition Media Release 17 March 2011 Following the use of tear gas and a bean bag round to break an asylum seeker’s leg on Sunday night, more evidence of heavy-handed policing on Christmas Island has emerged. Asylum seekers on Christmas Island have told the refugee Action Coalition that tear gas was used on a peaceful protest on Christmas Island last night (ie Wednesday night).A group of around 400 asylum seekers were walking in the open area of the detention centre in an attempt to speak to media representatives on the island.
In yet another disturbing incident within Australian detention centres, tear gas and possibly even rubber bullets have been used by the Australian Federal Police on Christmas Island against protesting detainees. With over 6000 people being held in detention and an increasing cycle of protests, escapes, hunger strikes, self-harm and repression within centres it is clear that the ALP has delivered a detention regime every bit as soul destroying as Howard.
Sydney Refugee Action Collective Media release, 12 March 2011 Reports from asylum seekers on Christmas Island indicate that at least 150 asylum seekers, believed to be mostly Iranian, have broken out of Christmas Island detention centre.
All Serco guards have withdrawn from the detention compound and are believed to be searching for the escaped detainees.
The trouble began around 11.30 Christmas Island time and seems to have been concentrated on the main compounds of the detention centre. All compounds have been locked down, leaving remaining asylum seekers unattended.
Over the next few weeks hundreds of Afghan Hazaras in Darwin, Christmas Island and Villawood detention centres, are going to be refused visas on the grounds that Afghanistan is "evolving" and that it is safe to return. The evidence of persecution and the stories of fear of return have not changed in the past month.
The Hazaras were being granted refugee visas at the rate of 100% until now. What has changed are politics in Australia and the looming election.