Around 200 asylum seekers on bridging visas and refugees with temporary protection visas (TPV) will stage a day-long protest, this Friday, 11 December, outside the Sydney offices of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection at 22 Lee Street. (Details below)
The protesters plan to stay outside the Immigration office from around 10.00am to 5.00pm. The protest will call for the right to work for asylum seekers in the community; for the department to end the delays in processing their claims and for permanent protection not TPVs for those found to be in need of protection.
The Sydney protest follows a similar protest held in Canberra on 13 November, when around 250 bridging visa holders and their supporters rallied outside Parliament House.
The protesters, mostly Iraqi asylum seekers and refugees, represent the almost 30,000 asylum seekers in the community, many of them left waiting for three years without even being interviewed, and denied the right to ever see their families.
“In December 2014, the Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison promised that people in the community on bridging visas would be given the right to work. But that hasn’t happened. They have been left destitute, while the Immigration department deliberately delays any assessment of their refugee claims,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“The delays, the misery and uncertainty inflicted on asylum seekers and refugees in the community is the flip-side of the brutality inflicted offshore, on Manus and Nauru.”
Under Coalition policy, asylum seekers who arrive by boat, and who are found to be refugees will only be granted temporary protection visas, and are therefore denied the right to travel and the right to be re-united with their families, many of whom themselves have been left in dangerous situations.
Protest: Bridging visa holders breaking the silence: 10.00am-5.00pm Speak-out: 12.00-1.30pm, Friday 11 December Immigration Department, 26 Lee St, Sydney.
Speakers include: Lee Rhiannon, NSW Greens Senator; Iraqi refugee; Michael Thompson, NTEU and Unions for Refugees; Jenny Haines, Labor for Refugees; Refugee Action Coalition
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Category: Press releases