As COVID-19 continues to spread, the eX-detainee Community in Australia urges the Australian government to immediately release all onshore and offshore refugee detainees and grant permanent protection for all Refugees

The deadly Coronavirus has been detected in Australian refugee detention sites while COVID-19 transmissions in the wider community continues to rise. We eX-detainees have experienced murder, rape, suicide and permanent injuries in these torture sites run by successive Australian governments for decades. It is time to prevent further deaths and injuries by closing the camps and releasing all detainees with proper support, before the deadly Coronavirus spreads further. Coronavirus is not going to wait for the Australian government to decide what to do with refugees in and outside detention.

In addition to this, there are 30000 Refugees and asylum seekers living in the community without welfare support and many of them don’t even have work rights. What is their fate as the novel coronavirus spreads. How are they going to survive if the government keeps ignoring our community members’ basic rights. Most of them are barred from accessing jobseeker payments, centrelink benefits and other social welfare support.

Our community has been subjected to over 30 years of misery to serve the interests of politicians and profiteers of the refugee detention industry. We have been ignored during the bushfire crisis and continue to be ignored during the COVID19 pandemic. Enough is enough, we want our refugee community to be respected and given our rights.

Our recommendations are as follows:

  • Immediately close down Manus and Nauru detention camps and bring all refugees back to Australia.
  • Give all onshore and offshore refugee detainees (in camps, hotels and the community) permanent protection, and give them freedom and justice with proper humanitarian, financial and medical support, without further delay.
  • Give all Refugees and Asylum seekers on bridging visas permanent protection and provide sanctuary for those who are homeless.
  • Immediately allow all Refugees to apply for family reunion under the humanitarian category, and fast track the processing of their applications.
  • Fastrack Refugee applications for citizenship.

While we make the above recommendations, we also want to see all refugee detainees treated with full respect and dignity during this transition, with proper support to restore their lives in Australia. Time is running out and the eX-detainee community in Australia urges the Australian government and public to act now.

Finally, the eX-detainee community in Australia urges refugee supporters and non-eX-detainee refugee advocates to step aside and stop continuously recommending harmful, ad hoc, piecemeal solutions for our community. This includes recommending insecure housing solutions or release into community detention or monetary support without pushing for long term systemic changes that benefit all members of the refugee community.

Act now and contact those who are responsible for keeping our community members in disarray and hold them accountable.

Support our quest for freedom and self-determination.

eX-detainee Community
RISE: Refugee Survivors and eX-detainees