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From April 6–9, refugee rights activists from around the country will be in Darwin to visit refugees detained here by the Australian government. It will mark 10 years since the refugee rights movement’s first Easter convergence at Woomera in 2002 and 20 years of mandatory detention policies.

Speakers

  • Hadi Hosseini, Afghan Hazara refugee
  • Marcus Hampson, Refugee Rights Action Network WA
  • June Mills, Larrakia activist and performer

Noon, Friday April 6, at Parliament House, Darwin

Rally will be followed by a march to DIAC and then a BBQ at Christ Church Cathedral. There will be no public transport that day, so please make other arrangements.

For more details, call Peter 0429 694 083 or visit www.dassan.org. A flyer for the event is available here.

About 60 people gathered today to protest against the private corporation Serco. The protested consisted of a number of groups across a broad variety of campaign background including but not prohibited to Occupy Perth, Deaths in Custody Watch Committee, United Voice, Save Fiona Stanley Action Group and the Refugee Rigths Action Network. Serco is the private corporation that runs and manages every single immigration detention across Australia. 7 suicides in detention have occurred as a result – among many factors – from the mismanagement of the detention centres. Serco run centres are often always understaffed and their little staff under trained.

Employees of Serco often have no training in dealing with torture and trauma victims, people with mental health issues and people from diverse cultural backgrounds – as has been demonstrated by various exposures of racist sentiments by guards towards asylum seekers in detention. A prominent circumstance of this was in September 2010 when Fijian refugee Josefa Rauluni who in an act of desperation and despair climbed a roof and threatened to jump off. Instead of reassurance, comfort and kindness the Serco guards attending the scene dragged mattresses underneath the building and taunted him to jump off, one even climbing the roof to try and pull him down. The man proceeded to jump and successfully took his own life.

Serco holds the record in the UK for the youngest death in custody in their juvenile detention facility after a 14 year old boy, Adam Rickwood, hung himself after Serco guards used illegal restraint tactics on him.