RISE eX-detainees’ 2019 Federal Election Media Statement : eX-detainees Urge The Australian Public NOT to Vote for Any Parties That Support Mandatory Detention Policies or Refugee Boat Push-backs During Federal Election 2019

TRANSLATIONS

On behalf of our members and governing staff from over 30 of the eX-detainee communities in Australia, RISE eX-detainee members urge the Australian public to say NO to utilising refugees and asylum seekers as political currency in the upcoming Federal election 2019.

We request the Australian public NOT to vote for any political parties that support mandatory detention centres; this includes the Australian Labor Party (who initiated the current system of mandatory detention and indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers under Prime Minister Paul Keating), Liberal National coalition (who opened offshore camps and support the Labor party’s mandatory and indefinite detention policy) and the Greens ( who support a 7 day mandatory detention policy). For decades, Australian politicians have been stoking racism by misleading the public for political gain. So far, the three major political parties in Australia: Labor, Coalition and the Greens support mandatory detention. We find this to be xenophobic and discriminatory to our freedom of movement; such types of abusive and institutionalised control of refugees should not be tolerated.  We also condemn the fact that in addition to mandatory and indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers, both the Labor and Liberal National coalition also support pushing back refugee boats into the sea.

Institutional Rape, Torture, Xenophobia, Queer-phobia, Abuse and Refoulement MUST NOT be tolerated in any shape or form. It doesn’t matter if it is for one minute or one day or indefinitely. If you do so under the cloak of “border control” or “humane refugee policies” or “combating people smugglers” then you are an oppressor who is discriminating against one of the most persecuted people on the planet. This is what Australian politicians are advocating for during the 2019 federal election.  eX-detainees in Australia, have the right to resist and request our supporters NOT to cast your votes those oppress our communities.  We call for the abolition of detention centres and refugee boat push-backs during this Federal election.

RISE believes that this aggressive culture of xenophobia and fear of immigration prevails throughout Australia-perhaps attributable to Australia’s foundation of white colonisation including border control mechanisms of the ‘White Australia’ policy to police who comes into this land, and the circumstances in which they come.  Due to Australia’s aggressive, racist mandatory detention policy, our eX-detainee members are permanently damaged, criminalised and made to feel unwanted. This has turned us into an underclass, where we are structurally disabled forever in Australia. Further, it is alarming that after the trauma of fleeing one’s homeland, the trauma of indefinite and prolonged administrative detention and the trauma of settling into an unfamiliar environment, people are expected to deal with such overt anti-refugee sentiments all over the country.

It is not up to us to promote or endorse any political candidates or political parties.  At the same time, we are not going to stay silent when political parties explicitly support mandatory detention policies or discriminate against our refugee community groups arriving by boats to seek protection in Australia.

eX-detainees do not support any form of detention, doesn’t matter 1 day or 30 days or 1 year.  Say NO to abusive and institutionalised control of refugees during this federal election. Enough is Enough, RISE eX-detainees urge the Australia public NOT to vote for our oppressor or the parties supporting any refugee detention policies.    

RISE eX-detainee Team

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