‘The Refugee Action Collective welcomes the Andrews Labor government’s written offer to Prime Minister Turnbull to resettle all children and their families at risk of being sent back to Nauru. Federal ALP opposition leader Bill Shorten should take note and abandon support for offshore processing and associated cruelty to refugees,’ said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective.
‘We also call on the Andrews government to clarify whether the offer extends to those without children, to the couples, single men and women who are equally at risk. People who have come to Australia from Nauru include people who have kidney and heart disease, burns, bullet wounds and other physical injuries suffered in their home countries, back injuries, cancer, or who have been the victims of assault, sexual assault and rape. They also include men from Manus Island who suffer from severe and ongoing injuries, such as brain damage, caused by the attacks that killed Reza Barati in Feb 2014.’
‘Further we call on the Andrews government to extend the offer to all asylum seekers and refugees currently on Nauru and Manus Island – there are also children and families currently languishing on Nauru. There are only around 2000 asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island combined. Victoria with a population of 6 million could easily accommodate this number. In 1989 after the Tiananmen Square massacre the Hakwe Labor government allowed 42,000 Chinese students already in Australia to stay permanently.’
‘If the Turnbull government rejects the offer, we call on Daniel Andrews not to allow Victorian police or public servants to be used to facilitate removals to Nauru (or removals from Melbourne to Darwin in preparation for removal to Nauru).The Refugee Action Collective will call pickets of detention centres in Melbourne if there is any attempt to remove people to Nauru,’ continued Breen.
‘The Andrews announcement shows that the tide of public opinion is turning against the Nauru and Manus hell-holes. Malcolm Turnbull says the “line must be drawn at the border”; we say the line must be drawn at human rights abuse. Many victims of rape on Nauru face return to where they were raped and where not one single person has been charged despite clear evidence. It would be a greenlight to thugs to return them. It would be a crime of similar ugliness and brutality to the rapes themselves. We call on Turnbull to accept Andrews’ offer as first step to closing Nauru and Manus for good.’
There will be national rallies (called by GetUp!) this coming Monday to Stand for Sanctuary Melbourne details:
For further comment call Chris Breen from the Refugee Action Collective on 0403 013 183