Author Archives: riserefugee

An asylum seeker was attacked and racially vilified for the second time by the same group of 4 white men .

Four days ago, we reported that a RISE member was assaulted by 4 white men. It has happened again on Wednesday night. The same group of 4 white men, armed with the same weapons, verbally abused him and chased him into a restaurant.

Our member (an asylum seeker) was coming back from work, walking from the St Albans train station. One of the four white attackers from the first incident followed him while on a bike, and said “Remember the last time we came after you and you escaped – are you going to give us your money and phone this time?”

Our member said “Leave me alone or I’ll call the police”. The man replied “I know a lot of police, I don’t care and it doesn’t bother me at all”. After that, he cycled away returned with his three friends who were involved in the first incident, and again they started threatening and verbally abusing him.

After many racist taunts, they said “Who’s gonna save you now? Who’s gonna save you today?” Our member ran into the restaurant to hide there, and called the police. An hour after he called for help, the police arrived. Two police officers escorted him back home.

The member and his wife told the police they don’t want to stay in the area and go to the city, because they are fearful for their lives. Police told them to stay at home, because the attackers won’t try to break into their home, but to grab a cab if they wanted to go somewhere.

On Thursday night, our members were temporarily sheltered at a different location with friends. They are terrified for their safety and well-being, because it they have been seriously and purposely threatened twice by the same group and the authorities cannot keep them safe. (The media will be quick to cover black on white crime, but not cover white on black crime.) At one point this week, our members had to stay overnight at our RISE drop-in centre.

This morning (Friday 18/11/16), our members sought help from a government subcontracted organisation, where they were registered with. They were told that they should make an appointment before coming in regardless of whether it was an emergency situation, and that they have “no proof” that these incidents occurred.

What does it say about how seriously life-threatening racist hate crimes are taken when our member’s only option is to move out of the area, and hope they are not subjected to the same hatred? Remaining silent in the face of continued race-motivated attacks is acceptance and normalisation of these despicable acts, and complicity in the growth of the culture of racism and xenophobia. We highly condemn the active targeting and assaults on members of our communities, who have escaped persecution and violence, only to be met with a new form of systemic violence and racial persecution.

RISE #BlockTheBill Campaign 2016 : ‘Say No To The Life Ban Of Refugees’

Thank you so much for supporting this campaign. It has received overwhelming responses and support from the public at the local and international level.

The bill still has to be approved on the 22nd of November by the majority of Senators in the upper house in parliament before this discriminatory policy can become part of Australian law.

1. RISE Media Release –
“We refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees at RISE highly condemn the Turnbull government’s plan to introduce legislation to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever being allowed into Australia”. http://riserefugee.org/03112016/

2. RISE Letter to the Australian Public –
“Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to impose a “life ban” on refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived since 2013, as well as future refugees who will be arriving to seek protection, will be tied up with the “No Advantage Policy”, which was crafted and designed under the Labor party”. http://bit.ly/2eLoHQT

3. Video Message by RISE –
“Rather than taking cues from divisive rhetoric propagated by racist extremists such as the One Nation Party, the Australian government should treat refugees and asylum seekers with respect and dignity”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEIvULklfLA

4. Open letter from a former detainee in Australia –
“Six refugees have died on these islands and many more have suffered from cruel and degrading treatment including torture and rape and none have been provided a safe and durable option of permanent protection. Is this how Australia measures the “success” of refugee policies”? http://riserefugee.org/1492-2/

5. #BLOCKtheBILL SNAP PROTEST (19/11/2016) organised by a collective made up mostly of queer & trans people of colour (also other trans / queer folks) https://www.facebook.com/events/1849852705233228/

Making the bill legal adds to the trauma and persecution of refugees coming to Australia to seek asylum so please continue all efforts to call and email or contact Senators – particularly cross-bench senators – in the upper house to block the bill.

On behalf of RISE and refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, Manus and Nauru, we urge you take a stand. Join with us and fight against these discriminatory policies that affect our community groups indefinitely. Contact your cross-bench senators now and tell them you stand with refugees and do not support the lifetime ban on refugees bill.

RISE Team

#BlockTheBill Campaign Message by RISE: Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees

#BlockTheBill Campaign Video Message by RISE: Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees

Video Transcript :

To The People of Australia,

As you know last week, RISE started the #BlockTheBill campaign after members of parliament in Australia’s lower house passed the bill for a lifetime ban of refugees coming by boat. The bill still has to be approved on the 22nd of November by the majority of Senators in the upper house in parliament before this discriminatory policy can become part of Australian law.

Thank you so much for supporting this campaign. It has received overwhelming responses and support from the public at the local and international level. Making the bill legal adds to the trauma and persecution of refugees coming to Australia to seek asylum so please continue all efforts to call and email or contact Senators – particularly cross-bench senators – in the upper house to block the bill.

This ban, if passed, would see refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention palmed off to other countries. Australia as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with one of the smallest numbers of asylum seekers, should not hand ball its responsibilities to other nations.

While the rest of the world turns a blind eye to the highest number of refugees being forcibly displaced globally since World War 2, we as a nation can do better. We can be an example to other nations and show them that we do not let our politicians continue barbaric and racist policies against refugees who are seeking sanctuary from persecution and harm.

People who have fled war, trauma and torture need long term security in order to restore their lives. The proposed legislation does more harm than good to refugees and asylum seekers. It adds major uncertainty to the lives of asylum seekers who have fled persecution and in turn exacerbates the trauma they have endured and continue to live through. Seeking asylum is not a crime and it is a right that is upheld by the law as well as the UN Refugee Convention, of which Australia is a signatory.

Rather than taking cues from divisive rhetoric propagated by racist extremists such as the One Nation Party, the Australian government should treat refugees and asylum seekers with respect and dignity.

On behalf of RISE and refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, Manus and Nauru, we urge you take a stand. Join with us and fight against these discriminatory policies that affect our community groups indefinitely. Contact your cross-bench senators now and tell them you stand with refugees and do not support the lifetime ban on refugees bill.

Spoken by Tania Canas, RISE member and Director.
Authorised: R.Fernandez, RISE.
Produced by Blueprint Studios – http://www.blueprintstudio.com.au/

RISE Media Release – Re : Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia 03/11/2016

RISE Letter to the Australian Public – Re:Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia

Open letter from a former detainee in Australia — ‘Please fight these draconian anti-refugee laws’

Open letter from a former detainee in Australia — ‘Please fight these draconian anti-refugee laws’

I object to the proposed law announced by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ban asylum seekers and refugees who arrived by boat from ever entering Australia, and I call on Australians to fight and resist these unconscionable policies.

Since the reopening of detention camps outside Australia, in the remote pacific islands of Manus and Nauru, refugee boats have been intercepted by the Australian government and the asylum seekers in these boats trafficked to the islands and held hostage for the so-called joint political purpose of ‘deterring’ people smugglers.

Both major parties now contend that this policy has ‘worked’ and no more boats are arriving in Australia. However, both the Liberal and Labor parties remain committed to the imprisonment of 1313 men, women and children, at all costs and into the foreseeable future. This number includes 50 children and 56 women (www.aph.gov.au, 30 June 2016).

Both major parties intend to utilise refugees to prop up a failing political system, to win votes, wedge their opposition, and spread fear, hatred and division amongst the public. Racial hatred informs and props up this system.

Refugees and asylum seekers in Manus and Nauru continue to endure the following

1. Forcible deportation
2. Arbitrary and indefinite imprisonment
3. Denial of a transparent, accountable and fair legal process and legal representation
4. Institutionalised torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment (contrary to Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights)
5. Medical neglect and criminal negligence resulting in preventable deaths
6. Systematic rape and other sexual crimes, including against children
7. Assault, grievous bodily harm and murder (the latter refers to Reza Barati who was murdered on Manus Island; the Australians implicated in his murder have never been charged).
8. Unlawful death and false imprisonment
9. An absence of settlement options, with full legal rights, citizenship protections, and safety.

In summary, Six refugees have died on these islands and many more have suffered from cruel and degrading treatment including torture and rape and none have been provided a safe and durable option of permanent protection. Is this how Australia measures the “success” of refugee policies?

As Australia remains an active participant and supporter of wars which create refugees, they have an even greater obligation to offer sanctuary and safety. Please take your international obligations seriously. Free refugees from fear and despair. I appeal to all justice-minded human beings to resist and fight this new law.

Abdul Baig
RISE Member and Ex-Detainee

Get Involved : Block The Proposed Bill

1. RISE Media Release – Re : Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia 03/11/2016

2. Letter to the Australian Public – Re:Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia 31/10/2016

RISE Media Release – Re : Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia 03/11/2016

We refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees at RISE highly condemn the Turnbull government’s plan to introduce legislation to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever being allowed into Australia.

People who have fled war, trauma and torture need long term security in order to restore their lives. The proposed legislation does more harm than good to refugees and asylum seekers. It adds major uncertainty to the lives of asylum seekers who have fled persecution and in turn exacerbates the trauma they have endured and continue to live through. This is an extreme form of xenophobia or racial discrimination. Seeking asylum is not a crime and it is a right that is upheld by the law as well as the UN Refugee Convention, of which Australia is a signatory.

Ex-detainee and founder of RISE, Ramesh Fernandez said “The politicians of the Australian government are being very cunning here. They are planning to introduce this hateful legislation because the government is at the losing end at the PNG courts. Turnbull is trying to save his leadership by flexing his muscles on those most vulnerable. Like always, the government has used asylum seekers and refugees as political currency”.

Barring refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived -and continue to arrive by boat- from settling in Australia is clearly discriminatory and goes against International law. Further, there is no evidence to suggest that this will save lives. In fact, this measure will adversely result in increased numbers of people fleeing from dangerous circumstances will either be sent back to the situations they have fled from, or that they will be settled in countries which do not offer protection to asylum seekers.

The rhetoric that Australian politicians espouse on asylum seeker issues is callous: hard-line solutions, temporary protection visas, Pacific and other offshore solutions, indefinite detention, forceful deportation, deaths at sea and now, a possible continuous banning refugees and asylum seeker entering to Australia.

Rather than using coercive power to silence detainee dissent, the Turnbull government should address the legitimate concerns raised by detainees, refugees and asylum seekers in Manus and Nauru.

We should not forget that Labor party has reintroduced offshore detention centres under ‘No Advantage Policy’, they should be as equally accountable as the Coalition party. The Australian government has shamefully taken cues from One nation party leader Pauline Hanson by introducing these policies and gained her approval

“If the majority of the Senate go ahead with the decision to support Prime Minister Turnbull proposal banning refugees and asylum seekers, it will be further evidence of Australia’s shocking discrimination against people fleeing from war, torture, rape and persecution” – Ramesh Fernandez, RISE CEO

Letter to the Australian Public by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees at RISE – Re : Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia http://riserefugee.org/letter-to-the-australian-public-reproposed-legislation-to-ban-refugees-and-asylum-seekers-who-come-on-boats-from-entering-australia/

Media contact :
Abdul Baig (Onshore Ex-detainee, refugee and RISE member)
(03) 9639 8623 or admin@riserefugee.org

Letter to the Australian Public – Re:Proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 of the refugee and ex-detainee communities in Australia, RISE urges the Australian public to say NO to the Turnbull government’s plan to introduce legislation to ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever being allowed into Australia.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal to impose a “life ban” on refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived since 2013, as well as future refugees who will be arriving to seek protection, will be tied up with the “No Advantage Policy”, which was crafted and designed under the Labor party.

Therefore, we urgently request the public to resist the Australian Prime Minister’s proposed legislation to ban refugees and asylum seekers who come on boats from entering Australia. You can contact your member in the House of Representatives and ask them to not to support it. Find your member, http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members. Australia as a nation should treat refugees, who come to seek protection, with respect. Instead Australian politicians past and present have used it to become the utterly politicised issue it is now in Australia.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s proposal only serves political parties like One Nation, Pauline Hanson, and her followers will be proud of their White Australia policies. These fear-mongering leaders will only boost the attitudes of racists and xenophobes, but will not bring justice to our refugee community.

Men, women and children are trapped in Nauru and Manus, held hostage by the Australian government and are used as political pawns. This is deliberately designed discrimination and well managed by Australian politicians. There is enough evidence that Australia’s treatment of refugees is barbaric, and that treating survivors of persecution in this way should not continue.

There are over 65 million displaced refugees around the world. Many are languishing without proper protection in interim camps. Australia’s discriminatory, human rights-violating “offshore” processing system for asylum seekers who arrive by boat adds tally to the interim camps and keeps refugees in isolation. Deterrence measures may lower the number of asylum seekers in Australia, but it is not a just and humanitarian solution for people trying to cross borders by boat, or any other form of transport, desperately seeking a place where they can be safe.

To lobby for international action, click on the following links and raise your concern:
UNHCR Geneva http://www.unhcr.org/pages/4a324fcc6.html
UN New York http://www.un.org/en/contactus/
World Human Rights Watch hrwpress@hrw.org , http://www.hrw.org/contact/new-york
High Commissioner for Human Rights nationalinstitutions@ohchr.org , infoDesk@ohchr.org

Treating refugees as the problem or as political pawns is the REAL problem.

RISE TEAM.
‘Nothing About Us Without Us’

Australia claims its illegal “border protection” policy is the “best in the world” – 21/09/2016

“Australia’s boat turn-back policy and indefinite detention of refugees is both inhumane and illegal.” – by Fadak Alfayadh, RISE Director

In the span of two days, Tony Abbott has urged European leaders to “stand guard” against the recent and ongoing movement of refugees seeking protection in Europe. Malcolm Turnbull alleges that Australia’s border protection policies are the ‘best in the world’, and our Immigration Minister claims that our offshore detention camps are “at least better” than refugee camps outside Syria.

As absurd as Turnbull and Abbott’s comments are, a number of things shock me to the core. Firstly, these men had been given platform to make such ludicrous comments, without a reality check. Secondly, they had an audience who listened to their bigotry, did not oppose or question it and possibly would adopt it as their own beliefs. It is one thing to be mistaken and heartless, but it is another to spread these sentiments with impunity.

Abbott’s recommendation of Australia’s turn-back policy is highly problematic. At a time when one of the most vulnerable groups in the world needs assistance, he is urging the world to turn their backs against those in need of protection. It is also ironic and unfortunate that nations such as Europe, who benefit from the stability that wealth and privilege bring, are urged to be “brave” against men, women and children who have left behind everything they know purely to survive.

The hysteria and fear created by politicians, such as Abbott, on first glance seem to be mere petty politics and statements that we are used to hearing from theatrical politicians. It is, however, statements such as this that in time turn hysteria into public opinion, and public opinion into legislation. Unfortunately, this is the situation Australia has come to regarding the refugee issue. It is an inhumane state reached through a historic chain of events resulting in unspeakable acts of state-sanctioned violence against refugees and asylum seekers. This is not a situation to be idolised or copied, much less recommended to other nations.

Australia’s boat turn-back policy and indefinite detention of refugees is both inhumane and illegal. Turning back asylum seeker boats that have reached Australian territory goes against the International legal obligation of non-refoulement, which Australia has been breaking for decades. Australia is sending people back to horrific situations where they are likely to face persecution, serious harm and in many cases, death. Not only does Australia have an obligation to all those who seek protection on its shores, but also an obligation (both legally and ethically) to those the government has decided to place in offshore detention centres. Thus, it is irresponsible of Malcolm Turnbull to speak lightly of the policies put in place by Australia against asylum seekers and refugees, claiming they are the “best in the world”. Off-shore detention and boat turn-backs are financially more costly to Australian taxpayers than settling people in the community, while the cost to asylum seekers pushed back into sea are immeasurable. Abbott’s drive to recommend Australia’s illegal and failed policies to other nations is, to say the least, unwise.

Abbott also referred to refugees and asylum seekers as “would-be economic migrants” who are “soldiers of the Islamic caliphate”. Inaccurate and ill-informed comments as this feed into the racist rhetoric and fuel the fear of the “other”, where Muslim refugees and people of brown and black skin are painted as evil and dangerous. They’re portrayed to have come to dirty the European dream with their brown and black bodies. He seems to be contending that they should not be offered humane treatment because they are less human and should have their bodies contained and returned, instead of offered assistance. The dangers of politicians making such unsubstantiated claims would have a trickle-down effect, instilling fear in the general public and eventually manipulating our refugee policies. Australia should be ashamed for re-settling less refugees than promised and indefinitely detaining refugee and asylum seekers, here and offshore. The policy of indefinite detainment and turn-back of refugees and asylum seekers is a failed policy. It is a smarter and a more moral solution to provide refugees with safe passages into the country and to allow them into the community.

What we should take from these incidents is that we need to stop electing into government, bigots who freely engage in racist and xenophobic conversations and practices. It is a political model supporting politicians to win elections by abusing the most vulnerable. Australia’s boat turn-back policy is not a “successful model” for refugee resettlement nor does it provide safe passage to refugees or asylum seekers. Evidently, it should not be recommended to other nations and must be abolished altogether. It is negligent to state that Australia provides “better conditions” than refugee camps in war-torn countries that are less affluent and less stable. Particularly since considerably less refugees seek asylum in Australia than in those countries. Australia has fallen far short of its capacity to ensure humane treatment of asylum seekers.

The plight of refugees and asylum seekers can only be understood by those who have lived experiences of these traumas. If European nations want to know how to protect and support asylum seekers, they should be consulting those who have experienced displacement, as opposed to seeking advice from men in suits vying for the support of those who favour harmful and xenophobic asylum seeker/refugee policies. We should also not be electing representatives that take pride in claiming that their human rights abuses are the best in the world.

Australia is a country built on human rights abuses and genocide of First Nations peoples-the least we could do is ensure our present and our future does not create more deaths.

Media Release : Ex-Detainees declare 3rd of September as Ex-Detainees’ Day for Asylum seekers and Refugees

Ex-Detainees declare 3rd of September as Ex-Detainees’ Day for Asylum seekers and Refugees

“As ex-detainees in Australia, we acknowledge that the land we seek protection on is the land of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples”

We Ex-detainees from RISE in Australia, mark the 3rd of September as #ExDetaineesDay for all Asylum seekers and Refugees who have been forcefully detained whilst seeking protection. Ex-detainees’ day will be entirely managed and controlled by ex-detainees, who are asylum seekers and refugees, as an assertion of our self determination. This day will highlight and oppose the abusive culture of refugee and asylum seeker detention, rather than merely serving to transmit our voices through platforms controlled by non-ex-detainees.

Ex-detainees from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds at RISE, have been meeting for nearly two years to share their experiences of hardships faced during their time in detention centres to help one another cope with the resulting trauma. The initiative to mark this day as Ex-detainees’ day for refugees and asylum seekers is one of the outcomes of these gatherings.

Ex-detainees’ Day spokesperson Abdul Baig said – “After discussion and consultation with members of our group, we have outlined 10 demands. Our demands are universal and can be adopted by all those who do not want to be part of the asylum seeker and refugee detention, torture and abuse supply chain. We ex-detainees say NO to the detention of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and the rest of the world, and YES to safety and protection”.

The cumulative trauma of leaving behind families and homelands, of being forcefully detained, of enduring punishment and torture in detention centres have resulted in feelings amongst Refugees and Asylum seekers of being subhuman. This is a violation of our human rights and our freedom. Asylum seekers and refugees will give effect to Ex-Detainees Day through the use of their voices to collectively speak out against harmful immigration detention centres, which continue to cruelly discriminate through the unnecessary imprisonment of refugees and asylum seekers who pursue protection.

As the world wakes up to the heinous crimes committed by the Australian government and their proxies against our community members exiled, detained and held hostage on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Manus, we ex-detainees in Australia are living testament of these abuses that have been committed by successive Australian governments, onshore and offshore, over 20 years.

Ex-detainees’ Day spokesperson Abdul Baig also said – “While we are starting this unique initiative in Australia, we have been in touch with other ex-detainee community members outside Australia too. As members of the ex-detainee community, we will continue to consult and work with each other to shape further objectives and actions to end asylum seeker and refugee detention, both locally and globally”.

Finally, we ex-detainees who have sought protection and freedom in Australia, acknowledge that we live on colonised land where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ sovereignty has never been ceded.

Ex-detainees’ day Links :
1. What is Ex-detainees’ Day?
2. Ex-Detainees’ 10 Demands

Media contacts :
Phone : 03 9639 8623
Email : admin@riserefugee.org
Ex­-detainees in Australia , RISE: Refugees Survivors and Ex­-detainees

Open Letter from RISE: Refugees, Survivors and ex-detainees to Save the Children-Australia & Overseas board of directors 28/08/2016

RE: Six Questions from Refugees and Asylum seekers about Save the Children-Australia’s role in Australia’s Nauru/Manus Asylum seeker Detention and Abuse supply chain.

RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees is the first and only refugee organisation in Australia that is governed, staffed and controlled entirely by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees. RISE represents over 30 refugee community groups in Australia and is a strong advocate for refugees and asylum seekers. At present, there are over 2800 members who are primarily ex-detainee asylum seekers and refugees.

As a backbone to our work, RISE strongly disapproves of any refugee movement, organisation, policy or individual that creates and/or supports a refugee scheme to imprison refugees and asylum seekers in detention centres and violates our peoples’ civil rights. For that matter, we do not endorse any movement, organisation or individual that violates any group of people’s civil rights. As we have stated, RISE is governed by and represents the interests of refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees, many of whom have first- hand experience of the harmful effects of the detention system. RISE has written and spoken out extensively about the consequences of Australia’s inhumane immigration detention policies.

The purpose of this letter is to address the continued lack of accountability in Save the Children-Australia’s role in the Australian government’s abusive, human rights violating asylum seeker trafficking and detention supply chain in Manus and Nauru, with a number of news reports that indicate asylum seeker and refugee children under Save the Children’s care were assaulted and sexually abused. Only a few days ago there has been another news report with allegations that your organisation withheld key evidence from the Australian human rights commission on sexual abuse of children in the Australian government’s internment camp in Nauru.

Save the Children-Australia’s 2014 Annual report (page 72) acknowledges that there was a 41% increase in income due to funding from the Australian Department of Immigration and border protection (DIBP) to run “services” in the Manus and Nauru asylum seeker internment camps. These funds total to more than a 100 million dollars of Australian tax payers’ money. We are appalled by the apparent hypocrisy in the actions of your organisation publicly condemning the detention of children, while accepting lucrative sums of money from DIBP, the very same abusers of both adults and children from our community, with the children under your care being caged and abused, rather than being saved.

We are sure you would agree that the first rule of thumb in community service is to be accountable to those who we claim to serve over our funders or other vested interests. Therefore as members of the refugee community, we ask the following questions about your organisation’s role in caging our people…adults and children…in Nauru and Manus:

1. Knowing that the arbitrary detention of asylum seekers and the refoulement of asylum seekers to Manus and Nauru is illegal, anti-refugee and unhumanitarian, why did Save the Children sign a contract to work for and accept money from, the very government that was violating basic human rights laws, including the rights of children?

2. Paul Ronalds, the CEO of Save the Children-Australia, publicly urged refugee advocates to accept asylum seeker boat turnbacks are here to stay. Considering the fact that the operation of boat turnbacks endangers the lives of asylum seekers does your organisation endorse this compromise of human lives, including the lives of children?

3. Did Save the Children fail to disclose the physical and sexual assault of children and the lack of safety of children in Nauru to the Australian Human rights commission? If yes, for what reason did Save the Children withhold this information?

4.How does Save the Children justify taking money from the very same entity that incarcerates asylum seeker children and ignoring refugee boat turn backs align with Save the Children’s vision of “a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation”?

5. Nine of your workers are reported to have been given $1 million in compensation from the Australian government and extensive legal advice. Keeping in mind that your organisation and your employees made a choice to work in Nauru, were paid salaries while they were working on the island and had freedom of movement including freedom to cross borders; what estimate would you put on the amount of compensation owed to hundreds of our community members trafficked, caged and held hostage in Manus and Nauru or those who were coerced into self-deporting to danger from Manus and Nauru?

6. Will Save the Children ensure that compensation is provided for those who were abused under their care and their families?

Our members have been, and continue to be outspoken for more than a decade at great personal cost, about the abusive nature of Australia’s mandatory detention system, hence we continue to regard with disbelief that people callously continue to apply for jobs in this abusive system. To witness this apparent ignorance, disregard and erasure of voices of refugee and asylum seeker detainees and ex-detainees in the struggle for justice and freedom is an ongoing trauma our community faces to this day. We demand that Save the Children and all other organisations and individuals to please, in the name of humanity, desist from working in, being complicit in and endorsing asylum seeker/refugee concentration camps and other anti-refugee policies.

Yours Sincerely,
Ramesh Fernandez
On behalf of RISE Team

Ex-detainees’ day 03-09-2016

We refugees and asylum seekers need protection NOT detention. We, Ex-detainees at RISE in Australia, mark the 3rd of September as Ex-Detainees’ Day for all Asylum Seekers and Refugees who have been forcefully detained whilst seeking protection.

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