Monthly Archives: February 2019

STUDENT WALKOUT 6th March 2019 – 1pm State Library of Victoria – Melbourne


The Australian Government recently announced the reopening of Christmas Island Detention Centre, which proves their hostility and brutality against asylum seekers coming by boats, and is a continuation of using refugees and asylum seekers as political pawns for their personal gain. This has been happening for nearly 30 years. RISE eX-detainees call for a Students Walkout in solidarity with detainees in Australian-run detention centres both offshore and onshore, on the 6th March 2019.

RISE eX-detainees, calling for students across Australia to take actions against the Australian Government for its inhumane treatment of refugees in Australian-run detention centres both offshore and onshore. The main event is based in Melbourne CBD, 6th March 2019 at 1pm, State Library of Victoria. We eX-detainees request students to walk out of their classrooms and campuses at 1pm  (AEST) wherever you are, hold banners that read #EndDetention and pay 2 minutes silence for those who survived and those who have lost their lives in Australian-run detention centres. We ask teachers and associates to join this action to show your solidarity. To bring national and international wide attention, we request you to post your images on different social media channels.

Australia MUST stops using us as political pawns and stop dumping its refugee responsibilities to less wealthy countries such as PNG and Nauru. The recent announcement of reopening of Christmas Island Detention Centre is evidence that Australia continues its oppressive detention system. 

Further, it is evident to us that Australia has succeeded in enacting and providing the world with a blueprint for contemporary modes of border imperialism. Australia’s unrelenting devotion to its politics of deterrence, built on the foundations of White Australia policy and the theft of Aboriginal land, demonstrates to us that this country is one that not only allows refugees to be used for political leverage, but also applauds its own on-going mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

There have been many inquiries and many reports of rape, sexual abuse and torture in Australia’s refugee detention camps since they were opened more than 2 decades, yet these abuses continue because not a single Immigration Minister or administrator in the Australian government has been held accountable. Depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses are pervasive within Australian detention centres, and are often a direct result of the experience of detention itself and we should not stay silent when it matters. 

Enough is enough, we don’t need more inquiries and reports, we want all detention centres to be shut down permanently and restore sanctuary to all detained refugees in the community. Your pressure to the Australian government is an act of solidarity and an act of justice.

Download Student Walkout poster here

While you take action in this matter, get involved in eX-detainees’ led campaigns

  1. #SanctionAustralia
  2. Calls On Universities And Health Services To Divest from The Detention Industry.

We should not wait until one more refugee is murdered, tortured or refouled by Australia.

RISE eX-detainee Members.

RISE : Refugee Survivors and eX-detainees Invasion Day Solidarity Statement – 2019

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and eX-detainees – the FIRST self-determined advocacy and welfare organisation in Australia run by Refugees for Refugees – makes a public call for a boycott of “Australia Day”, for the seventh year in a row.

We eX-detainees, Asylum Seekers and Refugees from RISE condemn any group or individual who claims to be pro-refugee but celebrates “Australia Day” on the 26th of January 2019. Instead, RISE encourages all Refugees, eX-detainees, Asylum Seekers and allies to support First Nations peoples in their actions against “Australia Day”.

RISE represents over 30 refugee community groups in Australia and is the first (and one of the few) self-determined, registered, non-profit refugee organisations in Australia governed and managed by eX-detainees, Asylum Seekers and Refugees. As eX-detainees, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Australia, we acknowledge that the land we seek protection on is the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples whose sovereignty was never ceded. ‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’.

We believe the systemic abuse of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a result of over 200 years of discrimination as part of the white colonial genocide strategy that continues to this day and this template is now being used against our own refugee communities. How can we dismantle the white Australian government’s refugee torture camps built within and outside its colonial borders without addressing the root cause of this criminal abuse?

RISE fully supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ sovereignty and self-determination and stands in solidarity with them every day in our commitment to fighting for justice on this land on their terms.

Nationwide actions are being organised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Activists. Below are the list of actions happening around Australia:

Donate / Amplify Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples-led movements and organisations

The above list was given to us by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community members who support/work with RISE. If you would like to add any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples-led organisations to this list please email admin@risrefugee.org

Finally, we thank the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across Australia who have been supporting refugee self-determination and standing in solidarity with our community groups every day.

Read our Invasion Day 2016 translations in Arabic, Burmese, Oromo, Tamil and Vietnamese here

With Solidarity
RISE : Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees

Detainees are on hunger strike at MITA detention centre in Melbourne : 11/01/2019

Recently the Australian government decided to “close down” Maribyrnong detention centre and forcefully moved detainees to MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation), located in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows. The detainees are on hunger strike over the last few days due to the nature of a newly upgraded detention compound into prison style.

MITA has a long history of human rights violations and forceful deportation of hundreds of refugees. This newly made compound is built as prison style, meaning that there is absolutely no privacy for detainees, including no door within detainees’ sleeping areas as well as open toilets. The sink is on top of the toilet and is made out of steel. Those who need to shave and brush their teeth will be forced to sit on top of the toilet bowl to be able to reach the sink.  All recreational activities are minimised and are made to be as inaccessible to detainees as possible.

Recently, I obtained distressing video footage from MITA detainees which indicates that SERCO guards are forcefully removing and restraining detainees inhumanely. These types of manhandling have been happening for over 20 years in Australian-run detention centres. We should not forget that the current MITA hunger strike is caused by unlawful long term detention, as well as the deteriorating mental health of detainees caused by the detention system.

Australian governments both past and present have blood on their hands detaining refugees in detention indefinitely.  Next time when we say “Australia/Victoria is an inclusive country/state”, just speak to an eX-detainee and they will spell it out really well.  We don’t need any upgrades! We don’t need human rights investigations! We don’t need “humane conditions” in MITA! We want it to be closed down permanently and freedom for all survivors of torture and abuse.

MITA eX-detainee, X

Donate to RISE : Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees