Three men being held in Pontville detention centre in Tasmania have been on hunger strike for 11 days now, at the lack of progress of their refugee assessments. Around 150, more than half of the Afghan asylum seekers at Pontville detention centre in Tasmania were involved in a hunger strike, with most suspending their fast on January 25 to continue talks with immigration officials.
These three men's cases were reviewed in the Courts and sent back to be reviewed a third time. They have been refused on the grounds that they are not refugees and would not face persecution in Afghanistan, despite their life histories containing many incidents of violence and loss, of family members shot and killed, of bombs going off with only half the family surviving, of being arrested for resisting Taliban attempts to steal property, of constant harrassment and fear of being killed and kidnapped. Their lives in Afghanistan are documented with their stories discarded as not worth worrying about.
They have been locked up now for two years first on Christmas Island, then Scherger Detention Centre in North Queensland and now Pontville in Tasmania.
The refugee determination process has degenerated into a farce where reviewers read the minds of the minister and review accordingly denying these men their humanity and right as refugees to seek asylum.
Pontville detention centre was set up as a low security centre with a maximum capacity of 400 people. There are currently 381 Afghan, Iranian and Syrian refugees detained there. Most of these people have been in detention between 15 and 33 months and are traumatised by indefinite detention.
Read more at Greenleft Weekly: Refugees make dramatic protests for freedom