World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Hungerstrike in Villawood

Hungerstrike:

Minister Evans can start evacuating Villawood from tomorrow morning

Sunday November 9, 2008 7:30am WST

No Embargoes

(Villawood contact: Ian Rintoul, Refugee Action Coalition, mobile 0417 275 713)

"Yesterday evening's declaration of a hungerstrike by the entire Villawood resident population, by those in Stage 1, 2 and 3, supported by all 135 men and women (see statement below) provides Immigration Minister Chris Evans with the best opportunity he could have thought of, to start a complete evacuation of Villawood and house everyone in the community, thus bringing him in line with the statement of intent and promises he made in a speech at Australian National University a few months ago," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"There is no need for more assessments, more inquiries and more reports about whether we should or should not lock people up in Villawood: Minister Evans is fully aware that the centre is a facility that's well below the standard - he has even acknowledged this himself," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"We've most recently heard an opinion about this inferior standard of Villawood from Mr Graeme Innes, Australia's Human Rights Commissioner, when he testified before the Joint Standing Committee's Australia-wide Inquiry hearings, and said that Villawood was the worst detention facility he had ever seen (as reported on October 24)."

"We've heard this opinion about Villawood expressed on many occasions, also in the Australian Parliament, and as long ago as the time that Senator Amanda Vanstone was Australia's Immigration Minister."

"And the fact that Australia has now signed the UN Convention for Torture and Degrading Treatment, places Minister Evans in a position, whether he likes it or not, where he is guilty of doling out Torture and Degrading Treatment in Villawood to all its inmates, during every day that he keeps people locked up in that Sydney hell hole."

"The time for lectures about Chris Evans' new principles of detention is over now, and this hungerstrike is the most opportune moment in the Minister's career for him to start evacuating people from Villawood, and start this action from tomorrow morning 9:00am, and start housing its residents in the community."

"This week Chris Evans has the opportunity of showing that he's got the guts he needs, and the political will to implement the decency he has been talking about for months now, because perhaps with the exception of a handful of its 135 residents, they pose no security risk, and perhaps not even a flight risk, if Evans does his job properly."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Climate Change: Record Northern Heat, Fuels Concerns Over US Wildfire Destruction

More than 78,000 acres of forest in the Sierra mountains in California has been lost due to wildfires. Photo: San Francisco Fire Department The northern hemisphere experienced its warmest August ever, the World Meteorological Organization ( WMO ... More>>

UN: Guterres Condemns Killing Of Journalists, Following Beheading Of Mexican Crime Reporter

© UNESCO | International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists. Following the gruesome death of a Mexican journalist specializing in crime reporting, who was found beheaded on Wednesday, UN chief António Guterres has issued a statement condemning ... More>>

UN: WHO Warns Against Potential Ebola Spread In DR Congo And Beyond

Ebola is spreading in a western province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), raising fears that the disease could reach neighbouring Republic of Congo and even the capital, Kinshasa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday. ... More>>

WWF: Living Planet Report Reveals Average Two-Thirds Decline In Wildlife Populations Since 1970

According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2020 released today, global populations* of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have suffered an average two-thirds decline in less than half a century. The decline is due in large part to the very ... More>>