Monthly Archives: January 2019

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

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