Eighteen Bangladesi asylum seekers are on hunger strike at the Wickham Point detention centre in Darwin. Most of those protesting have been in detention for around three years; some for longer than three years.
The hunger strike began on Monday 14 December, with many of them also refusing water.
One of the protesters was hospitalised on the night of Wednesday 16 December and another two were treated by IHMS, the medical provider, inside the detention centre.
While the hunger strikers are all at different stages of having their claims processed, none of them have been offered bridging visas in spite of their long-term detention.
While the Bangladeshis have endured long term detention, many others in Wickham Point have been granted bridging visas. Up to 80 asylum seekers in Wickham Point have been released on bridging visas over the past few weeks, 30 asylum seekers were released on Tuesday.
“The hunger strike has highlighted the plight of the Bangladeshis in Wickham Point and many others whose hopes have been taken away as they languish in indefinite detention,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.
“Too often applications for bridging visas sit on the Minister’s desk for too long. While many asylum seekers are being released before Christmas, others are left waiting for no reason. The lack of transparency only adds to the discrimination and anxiety.
“It’s time for the Minister to release the Bangladeshis.”
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Category: Press releases