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18 November 2015 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
URGENT ACTION –
VIGIL 18TH NOVEMBER 2015
GEELONG TOWN HALL STEPS
STOP THE DEATHS. CLOSE THE DETENTION CENTRE. NO RETURNS TO DANGER
How many more deaths will it take till we say ENOUGH! Every one of the men whose deaths we remember below was somebody’s brother, son, friend and member of their community, who died while legally seeking asylum and safety in our country.
We need to recognise the profound damage Australia’s unconscionable asylum seeker policies has done to such men and their families, to their communities, to our nation. Lack of processing of their claims, refusal to allow those who arrived by boat to settle in Australia, no family reunions, detention in dangerous conditions offshore, temporary protection visas and uncertainty onshore with fear of return to persecution – all conditions leading to damage and death.
Please remember these men and demand change from the government to stop the deaths: Come to the VIGIL next Wednesday 18th November at 6pm on Geelong Town Hall steps. Bring candles.
It may be distressing to read about these people’s deaths. However we must remember and speak for them.
Fazal Chagani, Died 8.11.2015 An Iranian Kurdish man in his 30’s, he had been jailed and tortured in Iran before fleeing to Australia 5 years ago. He was found to be a refugee and lived in the community. He was returned to detention on Christmas Island and escaped the centre. The circumstances of his death are still unclear but he was found dead on Christmas Island this week.
Khodaya Amin, died 18.10.2015. Khodaya was a 30 year old man from Afghanistan. He was living in the community on a Bridging Visa. Fearful of being returned to Immigration detention and being sent back to Afghanistan, he set fire to himself in Dandenong.
Mohammad Nasim Najafi, died 30.07.2015. Mohammad Nasim was an Afghani man in his mid-20s who fled Afghanistan four years ago after his family were killed by the Taliban. He died in Yongah Hill detention centre, WA, of a heart attack, amid claims he had been denied medical treatment for 2 weeks despite complaining of heart trouble.
Hamid Kehazaei, Died 5.09.2014. Hamid was a 24 year old Iranian man. He cut his foot in the detention centre on Manus Island. Three weeks later, after eventually being transferred to Brisbane, he died in hospital of septicaemia at 24.
Reza Berati, Murdered 17.02.2014. Reza was a 23 year old Iranian man. He was murdered on Manus Island, beaten with wooden sticks and his head crushed, in a riot, by two guards who have been subsequently charged but no trial has been held in PNG, 20 months later.
Reza (surname withheld), died October 2015. Reza was a 26 year old man who fled Iran, arriving in Australia 2013. He spent around three months in various detention centres before he was released into the community on a bridging visa and moved to Melbourne. Two troubled years, dotted with incidents of self-harm, emotional breakdowns, paranoia, and suicidal thoughts finally ended, alone at Brisbane airport where he hanged himself in late October this year amid fears of being deported back to Iran.
Rezene Mebrahtu Engeda, died February 2014. He was seeking asylum from Eritrea. He received a letter advising him of an appointment with DIBP. Convinced that he would be sent back to Eritrea, he didn’t attend the meeting. Instead, his body was found in the Maribyrnong River in February 2014.
Leo Seemanpillai, died 1.06.2014. Leo was a 29 year old Tamil man from Sri Lanka, well known to many in the Geelong community as a compassionate, friendly man and hard worker. On a bridging visa in Geelong, he lived in great uncertainty and fear that his asylum claim would never be positively settled and was extremely fearful of being returned to Sri Lanka. He took his own life by setting fire to himself.
CALL ON YOUR GOVERNMENT TO DO MORE TO STOP THE DEATHS, CLOSE THE DETENTION CENTRES AND NOT RETURN PEOPLE TO DANGER.
GATHER 6.OOPM WEDNESDAY 18TH NOVEMBER AT TOWN HALL