Anger rises to fever pitch among the young, including High School students, as Villawood Detention Centre is emptied of its Asylum Seekers. Busloads were taken yesterday, and earlier this week, to the bleak and remote Curtin and Northam Camps in Western Australia; presumably, to be forgotten.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has withdrawn the detainees’ rights to free legal assistance, and contact with the Australian public has been effectively terminated, since the refugees will be relocated well out of mobile phone range. There have been reports of self-harm from one refugee, Iman Najari, who had been told two years ago that he was going to be released. A fellow inmate tells his story:
“A tragic day for Australia. Human rights abuse of innocent asylum seekers just escalating. I have been visiting Iman Najari at Villawood for three years. He is stateless Kurdish Iranian, who fled Iran in fear of his life from religious fundamentalists.
He is a beautiful young man, gentle, respectful, helpful and liked by everyone, detainees, guards, and his friends. He has been in refugee prison in Australia for nearly five years and told me himself, he has seen seven people die in Villawood.
Serco authorities told him in April 2012 and then again around Easter last year, he was to be released. But it never happened. He went on a hunger strike for 14 days last year, simply to demand they explain to him why he was still in detention. They wouldn’t give an answer.
Iman only learned on Monday he was to be transferred to WA., ripping him away from his girlfriend Amelia and his whole support network of TEAR Villad people. He attempted suicide by cutting his wrists yet they still took him.”
Alexandre McCrae, refugee activist at Villawood Detention Centre
The young activists will be meeting again soon, on Palm Sunday, April 13th, at a Rally Hyde Park North in Sydney, where they will “Declare Peace on Refugees”. Join them. Their undiluted passion and empathy brings hope…