Candlelight Vigil in solidarity with asylum seekers on Nauru
Friday, November 30, 2012
7:00pm until 9:00pm
City Square, Cnr Collins & Swanston St. Melbourne
Speakers include:
Mohummad Ali, Detained as a child on Nauru under Howard’s Pacific Solution
Pamela Curr, Campaigns Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Aran Mylvaganam, Tamil Refugee Council
Katia Mestrovic, Campus Refugee Rights Collective

Chaired by Jema, Kommon Ground & Refugee Advocacy NetworkOmid Sorousheh, is on the 49th day of his hunger strike on Nauru, alone in a hospital room, without being allowed visitors. He will die if Immigration Minister Chris Bowen does not intervene to bring him back to Australia.

Last night another asylum seeker on Nauru attempted suicide by hanging, he has been taken from the detention centre and it is not known what condition he is in, or if he is alive or dead. In the last three days 15 asylum seekers have harmed themselves.

There is no ‘advantage principle’ for asylum seekers on Nauru, they are being disadvantaged compared to the thousands of asylum seekers in Australia who have not been sent to Nauru.

“Their lives are in limbo, and their families lives are in limbo with them. How were they chosen? Where else in the world are asylum seekers self-harming to such an extent? The government must end its ‘disadvantage principle’ for asylum seeker on Nauru,” said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective.

Chris Bowen has shifted on work rights for asylum seekers, Julia Gillard has shifted on her intention to vote against Palestine’s UN status. Is there no-one in Labor cabinet arguing to shift to save Omid’s life?

Chris Bowen’s Facebook page gives his favourite quote as, ‘To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded’ Ralph Waldo Emerson.”

Yet unaccompanied minors in Broadmeadows detention centre have been told they will be sent to Nauru, and are terrified. There is no garden patch for the 400 asylum seekers on Nauru, whose tent compound sits atop a dead phosphate mine in an area about 100 x 150 meters. And there’s no redemption of social conditions for asylum seekers on Nauru.

The Refugee Advocacy demands Chris Bowen act on the ideals he professes to hold and let “one life breathe easier” by bringing Omid back to Australia. Don’t let Omid Sorousheh die.

There will be a Candlelight Vigil to demand the government save Omid’s life and in Solidarity with Asylum Seekers on Nauru, Friday November 30th, 7 – 9pm, Old City Square, corner Swanston and Collins Sts.

For further information contact:
Liz Walsh 0405 736 265
Chris Breen 0403 013 183
Or Sue Bolton 0413 377 978

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