Monday, February 27, 2012



Asylum seekers supporters are shocked and saddened at the announcement
that an Iranian asylum seeker has died in Liverpool hospital in the
early hours of Monday morning, 27 February.

It is understood that the man, just 45 years old, suffered a heart
attack at the detention centre on Saturday morning and was admitted to

His wife and two children are believed to still be in Iran.

“This is an absolute tragedy, made worse by the fact that he should
never have been in Villawood detention centre,” said Ian Rintoul,
spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The government knows that it cannot send Iranian asylum seekers back
to Iran and yet they are kept locked up in detention. He arrived in
Sydney by plane in April 2010.

“He was a member of Iranian opposition group, involved in the
uprisings against the Iranian regime in 2009. He was arrested and
jailed. He was a victim of the Iranian regime and now he is a victim
of mandatory detention.

“The Iranian community in Sydney had made numerous requests for him to
be released into the community, where they could support him. But they
had been ignored. Psychiatric reports recommending his release were
also been ignored.

“The government has no excuse for keeping Iranian asylum seekers in
detention. We call on the government to end the misery of those in
detention. The Minister has said that the government would release
asylum seekers into community detention or with bridging visas.

“But little is happening particularly for those in long term
detention. All the Iranian and stateless asylum seekers, Bidoons and
Faili Kurds should be released immediately. We don’t want Ali’s death
to be just another statistic of those who have so needlessly died in

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Saturday, February 11, 2012




The recent release of around 19 asylum seekers on community detention
has done nothing to ease tensions at the Darwin detention centre.

In the last two days, four people in the main detention centre have
attempted suicide by hanging and overdose.

Another Kurdish man was taken from Airport Lodge to Northern
Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) after placing six stitches in his
lips two days ago. He has been in detention a year, was found to be a
refugee 9 months ago, but is still waiting for security clearance.

Yet, another man has dug a grave in the yard of N1 compound and is
lying in it. Nursing staff and Serco officers have been appealing for
him to end his protest and return to his room, but so far to no avail.

According to some of the asylum seekers inside the detention centre,
the arbitrary nature of the recent release has also added to the
tensions. One of those given community detention was someone who
received a negative appeal decision only 10 days ago, while other long
term detainees some waiting months for appeal decisions or just as
long for court hearings are being ignored.

They are also concerned that immigration is not living up to its
promises. After being told that at least 30 people would be released
by the end of January, twenty-seven names were put forward. But eight
people put forward for release have been left behind.

“We were told that there would be thirty released in January and then
more and more after that, but case managers are saying they know
nothing about any more getting out,” one NIDC asylum seeker told the
Refugee Action Coalition.

New arrivals to the NIDC have been shocked by the fact that some
people have been in detention for two years and have received three
negative decisions.

“There is no rhyme nor reason to the Immigration department’s
arrangements to release people. Nobody knows the rules and nobody can
explain who is eligible and why some people are released and others
left behind. That stress is seriously compounding the mental toll of
mandatory detention. People are left thinking they will never get out.

“The delays on ASIO security clearances are beyond a joke. There are
two Afghan asylum seekers in Pontville waiting over 10 months for
their security clearances. There is no reason for that. Bloody-minded
bureaucratic delays are driving people to attempt suicide.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713