HRA MEDIA RELEASE: 6TH DAY SCHERGER HUNGER STRIKERS - EMAIL FROM INSIDE SCHERGER - Three unconscious, others self harm, they say they will not stop. 53 Hazaras rejected.





"Respected sir,im from scherger IDC. &n bsp; RESPECTED SIR the strike began at 10am on thursday.and it continue tell now.respected sir more people are joining the strike,now 2 people have become unconious.and yesterday2 people harm them self.respected sir only 1 time immigration had meting with them but they didnt agree the strikers.respected sir its the 5th day of strike .the situation is very worst.we are about 130 afghanis in here and 53 of us are IMR rejection.and more of us are waiting for IMR desision along time.theirs agroup of people who are waiting for IMR decision from 6 mnths."

I have been receiving numerous phone calls from Scherger Detention Centre pleading for help - I have advised the Hazara hunger strikers, now on their 6th day to drink water and for those who are increasingly unwell to seek medical attention and eat food. My heart goes out to them.

They describe the indifference of various authorities.

Since the email (above), and received a short while ago, I have received another phone call, only minutes ago, describing of a third person who has become unconscious from the hunger strike and exhaustion.

They have described to me that Scherger has 460 Asylum Seekers and that about 130 are Afghanis, mostly Hazaras, and they do not understand how near half of them, and who have been at Scherger for along while, have endured 'rejections' - 53 rejections of Hazaras - one of the world's most persecuted peoples. They describe how they have risked everything to flee not just the prospect however the reality of violence, death, pillage, various persecution, lawlessness, the demand that they surrender their lives to the various militia and their objectives, and for them now to face the prospect of returning to even greater risks where they will be targeted. They describe that there are no authorities in their place of origin who would be able to protect them or to whom they could go to in seeking protection for themselves and their families.

Scherger Detention Centre is in the 6th day of hunger strikes, three unconscious, self harms have been described, they have said they will go all the way because they have no other option - that they are being treated wrongly and as sub human and that they are being abused in interrogation and by the various authorities at various times.

Surely we must wake up, how is it that there are 53 rejections of visa applications from Hazara peoples, one of the world's most persecuted peoples? We know full well the civil strife, the crises, the risk to life, and even the further development of the recent degeneration of the political landscape in Afghanistan and the ongoing abject and acute lawlessness and warring in Hazara lands. How is it the Hazara people can remain 'safe' in Afghanistan when President Karzai's own brother was recently assassinated? Has the Australian Government gone mad?

They have lost all faith in the Australian Government even mentioning the "Malaysian Solution" as a shock to them - in that they believe Australia does not care anymore about some of the world's most affected peoples. "Australia is big country, why hate us, we come for life, not for trouble, we cannot go back, we die."

100 Hazaras, though reports from them vary from 80 to 100, however this does not matter, are into the 6TH DAY OF HUNGER STRIKING and insist they will not stop. Why is it that their lives should be risked? Why not just end the discrimination, the racism, the poor political leadership, the lies, and remove ourselves from the vacuum of inhumanity and help as many as we can in the ways that we can?

Gerry Georgatos, Human Rights Alliance Convener - 0430 657 309

'Go tell the Spartans, Passerby, That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.' Molwn labe

"A theologian said that all will be well with me and all permitted to the degree that I obey the Council, and he added, 'If the council were to declare that you have but one eye, despite the fact that you may have two, it is your duty to agree with the Council.' I replied to him: 'Even if the whole world were to affirm that, I, utilising whatever reason I may possess, could not acknowledge such a thing without a rejection of my conscience.'" (Karel Kosik, Czech philosopher and victim)

"When enough rise, change happens."


Ten minutes ago the Six Day Scherger Detention Centre Hunger Strike by up to 100 Hazara folk ended.

They just called to explain that 'Canberra Officials' arrived to speak to them and ultimately promise them some hope and that they will ensure reviews and 'speed up the process'.

The Hazara folk decided that for now they will trust them and trust in Canberra's promises. Let us hope!

Some have been there for 18 and 20 months.

Gerry Georgatos.