Advocates call for permanent visas and immediate release of Rohingya refugees

| September 6, 2017 | Reply

The UN estimates that more than 120,000 Rohingyans have been forced to flee genocidal violence of the Myanmar army since late August.

World leaders have called for an end to the systematic violence against the Rohingyans, but the Australian government has been silent.

The crisis has exposed the Australian government’s own shameful policy of persecution in regard to Rohingyan refugees. The Australian government is holding over 90 Rohingyan refugees on Manus and a similar number on Nauru.

Even as the crisis was unfolding in Myanmar, on the 29 August, the government returned a 53-year-old Rohingyan refugee from Australia to Manus Island, although he was still having medical treatment for his heart condition. Since his return, PNG and Australian Border Force officials have tried to force him to sign PNG resettlement papers.

“The Australian government is denying permanent visas and family reunion to Rohingyan refugees who are living in the Australian community,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Rather than help rescue Rohingyans fleeing in 2015, Tony Abbott, famously declared ‘Nope, nope, nope’ to accepting Rohingyan refugees. He called for Malaysia and Thailand to turn away boats of Rohingyan asylum seekers.

“Although 1000 Rohingyans were rescued by Indonesia fishermen in 2015, the Australian government has resettled only 37 Rohingyan refugees since 2013. The Liberal government policy has banned accepting any refugees registered in Indonesia since July 2104.

“The government should immediately release all Rohingyan refugees in Manus and Nauru and bring them to Australia. Rohingyan refugees in Australia should be granted permanent visa and allowed to bring their families. The government’s ban on accepting refugees registered in Indonesia must be lifted.”

The Refugee Action Coalition is supporting the protest, Australian Government -Speak out against Rohingya genocide, called by Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA, 9:00–10:00am, Thursday 7 September at DFAT office, 9 Castlereagh St, City. Speakers will include: Gabe Kavanagh, President, Amnesty International Australia; Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition; Kate Lee- Executive Officer, Union Aid Abroad; Mohammad Junaid- Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA); Anwar Sha- Burmese Rohingya Community Australia (BRCA)

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Category: Press releases

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