Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Wellington vigil marks 1st anniversary of Reza Berati murder

Wellington vigil marks first anniversary of murder of asylum seeker Reza Berati

On Tuesday, 17 February from 8am Wellingtonians will mark the one year anniversary of the murder of asylum seeker Reza Berati. They will gather outside the Australian High Commission to show solidarity for Australian activists seeking to shut down the Manus Island detention centre.

“We’re commemorating Reza Berati and we’re standing with Australians who want to shut down these South Seas gulags,” said Murdoch Stephens who organised the protest in solidarity with Australians and Allies Overseas Against Mandatory Detention. Stephens also runs the Doing Our Bit campaign to double New Zealand’s refugee quota that has not grown in 28 years.

Stephens said they expected about thirty people at the vigil. The aim was to have Australian activists wake up to images of solidarity to start their own days of remembrance and action.

“We have so much respect for Australian refugee activists and we want them to know it. We were so inspired by their recent stands to stop a Tamil asylum seekers being deported, as well as their ‘unapologetic spoilsport’ disruptions at the Australian Open and World Cup Cricket.”

“And if people can’t attend the vigil we’re encouraging them to share their own ‘Kiwis for #ShutDownManus’ selfies on social media.”

Galvanizing under the hashtag #ShutDownManus and organising through social media, activists from the group Australians and Allies Overseas Against Mandatory Detention call for an end to what Berlin organizer Carol Peterson describes as the “cruel on-and-offshore detention policies that inflict deliberate harm on people fleeing war, genocide, and political or religious persecution.” Peterson says, “If the public knew the truth about what is happening they would be shocked. Many would feel compelled to join us in our demand that the Australian Government drop it’s illegal, deliberately brutal, and extremely expensive policy of offshore mandatory detention.”

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

At the time of this press release, vigils and rallies have taken place in New York, London, Dublin, Boston, Cambridge (UK), Berlin, Brussells, San Francisco, Santiago (Chile) and Leeds (UK), with future actions also planned in Amsterdam and The Hague, Houston (Texas), Austin, Paris, the West Bank, Belgium, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Sheffield, Belfast, Hong Kong and Japan. The wave of activity highlights growing discontent among the Australian and broader global communities with Australia’s illegal border protection policies. Boston organizer Julia Dehm said, “It is imperative to build an internationalized grassroots movement to stand in solidarity with the detainees inside Manus Island, to support their struggles and make sure that their messages reach an international audience.”

Australian company Transfield Services manages the Manus detention center under government contract, overseeing the detention of over 1000 people claiming asylum in Australia including Iraqis, Somalis, Sudanese, Pakistanis, Afghans, Iranians, Sri Lankans, Burmese, stateless Faili Kurds, stateless Rohingya, Egyptians and Lebanese people. As the Sydney Morning Herald recently outlined, the Manus center is part of Australia’s offshore immigration processing system, which contravenes Australia’s international human rights obligations and cost Australian taxpayers an estimated $1.2 billion in 2014. The hunger strike that triggered the vigils, the largest hunger strike in Australian detention history, protested Australian and PNG plans to permanently resettle refugees in PNG - one of the most poorly resourced countries in the region. Detainees sewed their lips closed, swallowed razor blades, and ingested detergent as part of their protest.

END
Media contact
Murdoch Stephens – murdochstephens@gmail.com
027 768 6322
www.doingourbit.co.nz
http://australiansoverseasforrefugees.tumblr.com/

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Gordon Campbell: On The Newshub/Smokefree Twin Fiascos


Here’s a tale of two sunset industries. One has a track record of quality investigative reporting, and sound reportage of the 24/7 news cycle. The other sunset industry peddles a deadly substance that kills and injures tens of thousands of New Zealanders every year, while imposing significant annual costs on the public health system.

Which industry is this government rushing to assist..?
More


 
 


ACT: New Zealand Dodges Dopey Experiment In Prohibition

“Labour’s attempted crackdown on smokers would have delivered criminal groups a near-monopoly over the cigarette trade,” says ACT Health spokesman Todd Stephenson... More


Government: Backs Police To Crackdown On Gangs
The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell. “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase... More


Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More


Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels


 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.