REFUGEE RALLY TO “WELCOME REFUGEES” – NO TOW BACKS; NO OFF-SHORE PROCESSING; PERMANENT PROTECTION, NOT TPVs

Media Release from Sydney Refugee Action Coalition

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Refugee supporters in Sydney will gather for a ‘Welcome Refugee’ rally at 1pm Sunday 29 September, at Town Hall.

Speakers will include, Irene Doutney, The Greens, Sydney City Coucillor; Sally McManus, sec NSW ASU; Shokufa Tahiri Afghan refugee; Dominique Sherab, Refugee Action Coaltion; Australia West Papua Association.

The rally will march from Town Hall to the water at First Fleet Park, Circular Quay to symbolise the welcoming of refugees and the danger of their journey.

“Tony’s Abbott’s policies have claimed their first victims, with the reports of up to 50 asylum seekers drowned on their way to Australia,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“The deaths of so many children magnifies the tragedy, but Tony Abbott’s policy of temporary protection visas will only mean more women and children will be put at risk with no alternative but to get a boat to Australia.

“The veil of secrecy Abbott is drawing around asylum seeker issues means that border protection and maritime rescue operations are no longer open to scrutiny. Abbott wants to operate with impunity, regardless of the risks to asylum seekers.

“The government’s secret transport of West Papuan asylum seekers from Australia to PNG on Friday, shows the willingness of Tony Abbott to trample on the human rights of asylum seekers, and send them to danger.

“PNG does not provide permanent protection for West Papuan refugees. Nor is it willing to provide permanent protection for asylum seekers sent from Australia.

“Behind the Coalition’s mantra of ‘Stop the boats’ is a draconian collection of policies that will only punish asylum seekers, that Australia should be protecting.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713, Nick Riemer 0481 339 937

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