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Aust. Family held, grave concerns for sick child

DIMA holding Family in Hiding - grave concerns for sick child

Pamela Curr
Campaign coordinator
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

An Amnesty representative and an Afghan community member attempted to visit this family at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane on Sunday night but were blocked by guards. The child was given pre-operative medication on Monday morning in preparation for surgery when Immigration department staff removed the sick nine year old and his family to an undisclosed location where they are under guard.

The family of three had arrived on Saibai Island off the North Queensland coast around the 26th of May. They were transferred by police and DIMA staff to Horne Island where they were held with the three West Papuans who were also picked up en route to Australia. Locals report that DIMA were 'encouraging' Papua New Guinea to take them back but as one local put it "they haven’t offered the right amount of money to the right person yet-so its no go".

"DIMA’s claims that family don’t want to see anyone including Amnesty or Red Cross are not believable" says Pamela Curr, campaign coordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), "Holding a sick child in incommunicado detention is outrageous in a democratic country".

"While these people may be designated by DIMA to be "Off-shore Entry Persons" and as such have no rights, we remind DIMA that they are still human beings." says Pamela Curr

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