Members of the public concerned about the treatment of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres are asked to join in a protest rally being organised by the Sunshine Coast’s Buddies Refugee Support Group. The protest will be held on Thursday, 6 March at 4pm on the corner of Nicklin Way and Point Cartwright Drive, Buddina.
Buddies spokesperson Margaret Landbeck said the protest would be held near the office of Member for Fisher Mal Brough, and aimed to send a clear message to government about many Australians’ disgust over recent events on Manus Island where an asylum seeker was killed and 77 others injured while inside the detention centre.
“We want the government to know that by outsourcing its responsibility to protect asylum seekers while processing their claims for refugee status, it is not acting in our name,” Mrs Landbeck said. “The secrecy, lies and cruelty around indefinite offshore detention needs to stop. Australia has a duty of care to protect asylum seekers fleeing from persecution, instead Mr Abbott’s policies have exposed these people to greater physical and mental harm.”
A recent United Nations assessment found Australia guilty of almost 150 violations of international law for indefinitely detaining refugees, with some labelling our system 'Australia's Guantanamo Bay'. “It’s time for decent, reasonable-minded Australians to stand up, be counted and say ‘enough is enough’,” Mrs Landbeck said.
“We want an end to offshore detention, greater transparency from our government and faster processing of asylum seekers’ claims, as per our obligations as a signatory to the UN Convention for Refugees.” Buddies has more than 600 members on the Sunshine Coast and is hoping the rally will also draw large numbers of the general public who are tired of our government playing politics with people’s lives. Protesters are invited to bring a placard to the rally, if possible. For more information call Margaret Landbeck on 5438 2789 or visit www.facebook.com/BuddiesRefugeeSupportGroup or www.refugeebuddies.org.au
Rally for Compassion
On the corner of Nicklin Way and Point Cartwright Drive, Buddina.
6th of March 2014
For further information please contact Margaret on 07 5438 2789
Corner of Nicklin Way, Warana
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