A call to action to release families from 'hell holes'
THE Bellingen and Nambucca branches of the Rural Australians for Refugees movement will mark five years of campaigning with a protest in Coffs Harbour this Saturday.
The action is an immediate call on the Federal Government and Opposition ahead of the Federal Election to end the 'brutal treatment' of asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.
"The 930 adults who continue to languish in these two hell-holes are held in indefinite detention, with no prospect of resettling in Australia," RAR spokesman Mike Griffin said.
"Twelve of them have died whilst in the 'care' of the Australian government.
"Many of them have self-harmed, and most of them have significant health issues as a direct result of the government's cruel and inhumane policy; a policy which is deliberately designed to break their spirits. And it has!
He claimed that most Federal Election candidates seem to be ignoring the issue.
"The older parties seem to have no plans for an early end to this imprisonment," he said.
"Imagine the feelings of hopelessness these legal refugees experience as they suffer in these camps with no end in sight to their incarceration.
"We hope we are joined on Saturday by Australians wanting to send a clear message to voters and candidates in the federal election that this cruel, heartless, hugely expensive and utterly unnecessary policy must be brought to an end.
"We Australians are better than this. It is surely time to show some compassion."
Who: Bellingen and Nambucca District Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR)
What: Rally for asylum seekers and refugees
Where: The Jetty Foreshores
When: Saturday, May 11 from 11am to 12.30pm.