Author Archives: riserefugee

We RISE eX-detainees including Palestinian eX-detainees highly condemn the recent attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza strip by Israel.

Genocidal acts are being carried out daily, inside and outside the borders of Gaza by Israel and it is not a hidden matter; it is out there for people to witness. So far, over 40 Palestinians have been killed in the recent massacre with 2000 others injured.

We are not going to sit back and talk about “how can this happen?” or “violations of human rights law”. We find such discussions practically worthless, meaningless and short-sighted because there is no such thing called “human rights” in occupied territories. If there is one we wouldn’t have been treated as worthless humans. We stand against the massacre of Palestinians and the ongoing occupation by Israel.

We don’t need sympathy, we need accountability and reparations. We should not forget thousands of Palestinians have been refugees for over 50 years and barred from returning to their homeland or even a durable resettlement solution by UNHCR.

We send our deepest condolences to our community who are the victims of the Israeli government’s murderous actions, conducted repeatedly in front of your eyes.

RISE eX-detainees


eX-detainees highly condemn artists performed in the #Stolenwealth (“commonwealth”) games in Australia 2018 and call to boycott such artists.

We eX-detainees in Australia strongly condemn those artists who performed in the Stolenwealth aka “Commonwealth” Games in Australia 2018. We eX-detainees have requested artists to boycott the “Commonwealth” Games both nationally and internationally on the basis of our community members enduring ongoing abuses in Australia run detention centres for over 2 decades (26 years).

But our request has been regarded with clear disrespect and Australia’s rape and torture survivors should not have to educate people on this. Artists privileged enough to have such a platform should know that their solidarity should be with the oppressed not with a thieving murderous empire or “commonwealth”. This was an opportunity to leverage your power for justice but you instead chose fame and money while throwing abused and tortured communities under the bus. What is very interesting is that some of these artists are recognised as progressive and as human rights activists, yet have zero respect for refugees indefinitely detained in Australian detention camps both in and past and at the present. For over 26 years, white Australian refugee policy exists not only because of racist Australian government but also of spineless so-called progressives too.

This systemic abuse of our bodies and livelihood not only exist in detention but also long after we survived. We should not also forget those who are currently held hostage in both onshore and offshore detention camps, including some cases where people have been detained for 10 years without release date.

Therefore, we ask all our national and international followers to BOYCOTT below artists’ future performances due to their lack of regards for those who survived rape and torture in Australia-run detention centres.

Artist Names / Locations

Meg Mac – Melbourne
The Cat Empire – Melbourne
Born in a Taxi – Melbourne
Regurgitator – Melbourne
Confidence Man- Melbourne

Urthboy – Sydney
Nina Las Vegas – NSW
Icarus Productions – Sydney
Hot Dub Time Machine – Sydney
Thundamentals – Sydney
BlueSkillet Rovers – NSW
Eliza & The Delusionals- NSW

Kate Miller Heidke – Brisbane
Amy Shark – Brisbane
Ella Fence – Brisbane
Katie Noonan – Brisbane
The Jungle Giants – Brisbane
Bullhorn – Brisbane
Circa Contemporary Circus – Brisbane
Paces – Brisbane
Polytoxic dance theatre – Brisbabe
Lastlings – Brisbane
Dancenorth – Queensland
Don Walker – Queensland
Busby Marou – Brisbane
Michelle Xen – Brisbane
Courtney Act – Brisbane
Bobby Alu – Brisbane
The Creases – Brisane
Tijuana cartel – Queensland
Cheap Fakes – Brisbane
Dubmarine – Brisbane

Caiti Baker – Darwin
Restless Dance Theatre – Adelaide

Wafia – Netherlands
Rimini Protokoll – Germany
Early Morning Opera – USA
Punchdrunk – England
Susheela Raman – England
The Ska Vengers – India
Salmonella Dub – New Zealand
Peaches – Canada
GRRRL – Worldwide

Stolenwealth Games Boycott – A First Nations & eX-detainee Solidarity Statement 26/03/2018

Members of the First Nations and eX-detainees from RISE have consulted to produce this solidarity statement and call for all supporters to boycott the Stolenwealth (“commonwealth”) Games which is to be held in Queensland, Gold Coast in Australia in April 2018.

Colonial theft, dispossession and genocide are no reason to celebrate and as such we call for all participating nations, athletes, artists and fans to boycott the games and to end colonial occupation and oppression in Australia as well the systemic abuse against our communities.

The Stolenwealth games are merely another cheap gimmick used to whitewash the realities and bloody histories of British colonisation across 6 continents. There is no unity through genocide. First Nations Elders and supporters working with RISE have made it clear that countries and individuals who are willing to participate in this grotesque pandering to a display of British colonialism are not welcome and are violating Indigenous sovereignty.

We encourage people to take responsibility for their own communities and organise actions at embassies of participating nations, contact activists from participating nations and publicly pressure athletes and artists to pull out of the games.

We also encourage people to support the Stolenwealth Games protest actions that will be occurring on the Gold Coast and around Australia from April 4th, 2018. Unite to resist continuing colonial occupation and imperialism. Anyone who is coming to participate in the Stolenwealth games or going to watch the games undermines the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and over 200 years of genocide and on-going oppression. Further, they are also complicit in the torture and indefinite detention of refugees in Australia’s onshore and offshore detention camps. This systemic oppression must end.

Australia’s colonial borders continue to oppress communities of colour and Black peoples living inside and outside these borders. We condemn the treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, asylum seekers and refugees in detention centres and prisons in this country. Every time you win a medal, you are winning a medal for colonization, genocide, occupation, systemic abuse and discrimination.

This is an international crisis. Deal with the root of the crisis and act now!

No Games on stolen land.
#BoycottGC2018 #SanctionAustralia #NotTheQueensLand

Media contact: Ramesh Fernandez / 03 9639 8623

Here are some actions you can take to boycott the Stolenwealth Games in Queensland, Australia 2018 and stand in solidarity with

1. Contact and organise actions at embassies of participating nations.
2. Contact activists from participating nations and request they help apply public pressure on athletes to pull out of the games.
3. Put pressure on those musicians and performers to boycott participating at the Stolenwealth games especially white Australians, white Canadians and British at the opening ceremony (see below details of the performers)
4. Attend rallies and demonstrations and draw attention to protest actions

Contact points for artists and embassies here and ACT NOW!

Joint Statement on Ms. Suu Kyi attending Asean-Australia Special Summit in Sydney, March 2018

On the event of Asean-Australia Special Summit, we Rohingya community from Australia would like to call the Australian government to raise cases of ongoing genocide, ethnic cleansing against Rohingya community in Arakan (Rakhine) state of western Burma (Myanmar). The native Rohingya people have been facing total destruction and driven out from their homelands under the military powered government NLD led by popular Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military powered NLD government led by Ms. Suu Kyi defiantly blocked the UN Inquiry Commission, foreign officials, independent journalists, agencies and ration supplies. As well as, the NLD government has constructed fake stories, provided reverse information, and dismissed the crisis on the ground by forming commission after commission and fancily fingering the minor defense of Rohingya resistant group ARSA that has actually done same as other armed ethnic groups. Also, her government signed the repatriation deal with Bangladesh in order to topple international pressures from the account of genocide and ethnic cleansing.

Indeed, types of vigilant attacks, ways of indiscriminately and arbitrary killings and usages of arms, brutal violent abuses and rapes, massive destruction of historical buildings, homelands and identities and cases of systematic oppression, repression, restriction, confinement, persecution, unlawful arrest, corporal and collective punishments, practicing unlawful discriminatory laws and orders, permanent restriction in every social, cultural, welfare, health-care, education and livelihood sectors and cutting off of electricity and waters, are clear pictures of genocide, ethnic cleansing and war crimes.

The attack from 25 Aug 2017 in Maungdaw, Buthidaung and Rathedaung townships by government armed forces jointly with Rakhine armed force ALP and government trained Rakhine gangs, used fight helicopters, tanks, machine guns, rocket launchers and killed brutally and indiscriminately. Women and girls as young as aged 12 were raped in front of their relatives and in the public and shot dead brutally, children including babies were slaughtered, burnt and buried alive, laying landmines along the ways of fleeing.

MSF report showed about 10,000 dead among the arrivals of just in the first month. According to the ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) cited data from the Bangladeshi government that puts the number of “lost” parents as high as 43,700 people.

The death toll is significantly high If we count the number of parents lost for current 40,000 orphans plus family members who lost their husband, wife, children, siblings. Arrest including children and people who teaching Rohingya kids, distributing rations, language support workers, medical assistance providers, bearing phones, having radio and foreign contacts. Looting goods and cash, crops and animals. Up to date, more than 400 villages of total about 485 villages have been completely razed down and the government forces bulldozed the remnant parts of the building by following days. Nearly 700,000 out of estimated 770,000 Rohingyans were forced into Bangladesh thru ravines and jungles. Some drown to death, some died with wounds, and some died from starvation.

Today, 90% of total Rohingya population from these 3 regions were driven out, destruction of the remaining houses continue, the rest Rohingyans are trapped and facing horrible attacks, deadly starvation and Rohingya lands are clearing and replacing with mega projects and military base camps.

Read full joint statement here

Message from rise members from the Chinese community who are seeking protection in Australia

We, Chinese Christians of the church of almighty god request Australian government to pay more attention on our protection claims in Australia

We are Christians of the Church of Almighty God (CAG) seeking protection in Australia. Group of us arrived to Australia in hoping to seek protection but our cases have been unsuccessful due to lack of understanding about our faith and religion. Many of us are struggling to find lawyers and unable to find proper way of settling in Australia.

The Chinese Communist government uses its official media to package China as a country with an image of “rapid economic development and a marked increase in its international status,” and only shows its seemingly glamorous appearance to the world, but secretly adopts all kinds of methods to hide the deplorable human rights situation of China.

In fact, since it took power, the Chinese Communist Party has bloodily suppressed religious beliefs by hook or by crook, doing its utmost to ban house churches. Especially the persecution on the CAG is even more severe. Since being established in 1991, the CAG has continued to endure brutal repression and persecution of the Chinese Communist government.

● In 1995, the CCP issued the documents to label the Church of Almighty God, the Local Church etc. totally 14 religious groups as “cults,” and brutally suppressed the CAG in the name of “combating cults.”
● According to rough statistics, in just the two short years between 2011 and 2013, the number of Christians of the CAG illegally arrested, detained and sentenced by the Communist Party reached 380,380 people, of which 43,640 people were subjected to various methods of torture at the hands of kangaroo courts, including 13 people who were persecuted to death. As of now, there are already 44 well-documented cases of Christians of the CAG killed by the Communist Party.
● Based on incomplete statistics from the start of the 2017 to September 30 of the same year, at least 3,362 Christians of the CAG were subjected to the persecution of the Communist Party in Mainland China’s 32 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.
● Because the CCP has always suppressed religious beliefs, many Christians from the CAG are forced to flee from home, agonizing over their shattered family and homelessness.
● The denial of religious freedom in China and the case of The Church of Almighty God exposed at the 37th session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations
● Nowadays, there are still many Christians of the CAG suffer from inhumane abuse in Chinese prisons, and the number of church members who were persecuted to death continues to grow.

As the repression of the CAG by the CCP continues to escalate, some Christians from the CAG uprooted themselves and fled to the countries overseas, a part of whom arrived Australia seeking asylum. We are law-abiding and peace-loving, and want to make a contribution to society. We didn’t know much about the local law when we first arrived, and legal aid provided by some local non-profit organizations is limited, so the majority applied for our protection visas without professional immigration lawyers’ help, and some of whom were refused by the DIBP, waiting for the hearing. Due to the coming hearing and lack of legal assistance, our situation will become more worrying: Once our applications for protection visas are refused, we will be faced with repatriation, which is tantamount to sending us to our death.

We hope that Australian people can pay more attention to the life of Christians of the CAG, call on for the Christians seeking asylum and help us assimilate into the local, so that we can stay here to continue our beliefs.

Our web page
The denial of religious freedom in China
CHINA: Four members of the Church of Almighty God arrested and tortured in Huaiyang County
Report: Persecution of the Church of Almighty God in China


RISE: Refugees, Survivors and Ex-detainees is the first welfare and advocacy organisation governed entirely by refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees in Australia. RISE represents over 30 refugee community groups in Australia and located in Melbourne.

In October 2017, the eX-Detainees at RISE: Refugee Survivors and eX-Detainees launched the Sanction Australia campaign. Our primary aim is to sanction Australia from participating in international refugee humanitarian decision making and human rights forums until The End of Mandatory Detention, The End of Refoulement and The End of Refugee Boat Turn back policies. The #SanctionAustralia campaign is distinguished by its unique leadership, in that it is initiated, controlled and directed by eX-detainees from RISE.

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 the White Australia policy, racism and arbitrary imprisonment demonstrates to us that this country is one that not only allows refugees to be used as political leverage, but applauds its on-going mistreatment of asylum seekers and refugees.

Supporting refugees means supporting agencies, like RISE, that are self-governed and provide refugee communities with more than charity. If you object to the Australian government’s policies of mandatory detention and boat push-back, then you should donate to Sanction Australia campaign as a means of direct action and further support the campaign in the specific ways we have outlined here-

1. Project Coordination wages and costs (RISE is largely run off volunteer labour at present);
2. Content development, research, travel expenses, community networking and hosting events, workshops and conferences;
3. Food, water and material aid for refugees and eX-detainee volunteers and advocates who have no access to other means of financial support;
4. Promotion costs of the Sanction Australia agenda in social media and other advertising; printing materials including flyers and posters;
5. Video promotional materials, including for the direction, development and circulation of video campaigns.

Support our Sanction Australia campaign by making a donation today.

Online deposit;
Account Name: RISE: Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees
BSB: 013128
Account Number: 220584925

For more info or if you would like to run Sanction Australia fundraiser please contact at

Nothing About Refugees Without Refugees
RISE eX-detainee Team
Back to #SanctionAustralia Web Page

RISE Press Release Re-Invasion day aka “Australia Day” in 2018

We Refugees, Ex-detainees and Asylum seekers from RISE condemn any group or individual who claims to be pro-refugee but celebrates Invasion Day aka “Australia Day” on the 26th of January.

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 refugees, asylum seekers and ex-detainees. As Refugees seeking protection and freedom on this land we acknowledge that we live in occupied territories where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional owners and where sovereignty has never been 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?

Since RISE was established in 2009, we requested that Refugee organisations and “advocates” stop using the slogan “Australia was built by boat people” or the slogan “We are all Boat people” in pro-refugee campaign slogans erasing the existence of the Indigenous peoples of this land and conflating genocide and occupation with seeking refuge by boat. Unfortunately our requests were dismissed and in 2014 a mostly white run organisation called “I am a boat person” with a logo which resembles the first fleet of Ships that arrived from Britain, was established to advocate for refugees arriving by boat and they organised an event on “Australia Day” in front of Parliament House in Canberra using this slogan. Clearly our efforts were inadequate and that was the year when we first made a public declaration about our concerns that included a statement that we do not support the celebration of “Australia Day”.

To quote RISE founder and eX-detainee, Ramesh Fernandez “As survivors of occupation, rape, torture and oppression we should not undermine the struggle for survival that other oppressed community groups face. We should respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their sovereignty. It is not a day to poster yourself on a billboard, dance, sing or wrap a flag around yourself that represents occupation, colonisation and genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia”.

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

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

Grandmothers Against Removals
Curtain the podcast
Justice For Julieka Dhu
Hey Sis, we’ve got your back
Black Rainbow Living
Family Violence Prevention Legal Service
​First Nations Telegraph

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

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.

With Solidarity

FIVE reasons why you should support RISE’s New Year’s Appeal 2018

Dear Supporter,

This month RISE is launching our New Year’s Appeal for 2018. Your support will allow us to continue challenging the harmful and xenophobic refugee policies and discourses which surround eX-detainees, refugees and asylum seekers and pervade social and political spheres both locally and globally. We rely heavily on public donations to ensure that we are able to continue meeting the needs of our members, and assisting those who fall through the cracks of the system.

FIVE reasons why you should support RISE’s New Year’s Appeal

RISE projects and campaigns are entirely run and developed by eX-detainees, asylum seekers and refugees.
RISE does not accept federal or state government funding.
RISE runs 18 projects throughout the year, and so far, over 3000 eX-detainees, asylum seekers and refugees have registered as members.
We work on long term structural changes which support the freedom of refugees and their self-determination process.
We run national and international refugee rights campaigns, publications and actions without any support from philanthropists or donors.

Your donation is critical to increasing our resource capacity, and will enable our dedicated team of staff and volunteers to continue providing essential services to our communities.

Lend us your support by making a tax-deductible donation today.

Nothing About Us Without Us.

Refugee Detention, Torture and Abuse by Australia doesn’t STOP for holidays, New Year celebrations, Christmas Carols or Sporting events – #SanctionAustralia

While you are celebrating your end of year events, our community is being tortured, abused and murdered in Australian run detention centers in front of your eyes every single day. Have you forgotten?

This is a call by RISE eX-detainees to the Australian public and the International community to join our #SanctionAustralia Campaign and stand AGAINST Refugee/Asylum seeker Detention, Torture and Refoulement committed by the Australian government, during end of year events across Australia and Overseas.

What you are witnessing RIGHT NOW against Refugees in Manus or Nauru or any other Australian run detention camp is not something new. The systemic abuse against refugees coming on boats to seek asylum has been going on for over 25 years now. Australia needs to stop using us as political pawns and


Furthermore, Australia’s state sanctioned refugee trafficking, detention, torture and abuse has been the laboratory for the world. It has given a green light to many across the globe who claim to “support” refugees including the European Union who recently made a major deal with Libya to intercept refugee boats.

RISE eX-detainees call for immediate pressure to be placed on Australia in the way of global sanctions that address their deliberate and inhumane mandatory detention process and refugee boat push back policies. Specifically, Australia should be excluded in participating in international humanitarian and human rights forums until mandatory detention and refoulement of asylum seekers is abolished in Australia.

We eX-detainees request all supporters of eX-detainees and current detainees held hostage by Australia to take a stand during end of year holiday events and bring to the forefront the forgotten people in our community being tortured, refouled and abused by this government while mainstream Australia celebrates this “festive” season.

What you can do
Download our posters and display them at public places and send a strong message that you are no longer going to stand by idly while the trafficking in human misery is leveraged for political gain.

Hand out our sanction Australia brochures

For more details about the #SanctionAustralia campaign initiated and run by eX-detainees visit the main page: #SanctionAustralia

We ask that you please make efforts to research the background of this campaign and take relevant actions to #SanctionAustralia within your region;

We should not wait until one more refugee is murdered, tortured or refouled by Australia.
RISE eX-detainee Team

#SanctionAustralia: What can supporters located in ‘Australia’ do?

1. Contact human rights and civil society groups. Ask them to publicly sanction Australia for torture of refugees.
2. Pressure the UN to sanction Australia for refugee rights violations and from participating in any refugee/humanitarian and human rights decision making process.
3. Presence at major sporting events that will garner international attention and media coverage
4. Banner/ brochure – Sanction Australia banner drops in busy areas and RISE brochure distribution at any events
5. Consistent presence at culpable organisations and individuals including: Australian Border Force, offices of ALP and LNP politicians with #SanctionAustralia banners.
6. Boycott any events sponsored by security companies, private firms and NGOs who ran and supported detention centres in Australia such Serco, Wilson Security, Broadspectrum, Ferrovial Servicios, Save the Children, Salvation Army and etc.
7. People with social capital, access to media outlets, large social media following, disposable income, social privileges), use your platform to promote and support the campaign.

Download #SanctionAustralia Brochure

– RISE has to authorize any fundraising events for the #SanctionAustralia Campaign.
– Respect eX-detainees running this campaign at RISE. Make sure you acknowledge our labour and leadership

RISE eX-detainee Team.

Download #SanctionAustralia Brochure
Back to #SanctionAustralia Web Page

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