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(en) Update on hunger-strike at Australian refugee camp

From "rc-am" <rcollins@netlink.com.au>
Date Mon, 7 Feb 2000 16:59:12 -0500


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[If you haven't already seen the initial posts, email me and I'll send you
further information.]

An update on the hunger-strike at the Curtin refugee camp in Australia
February 7, 2000

The Australian Department of Immigration today made contradictory
statements about the hunger-strikers at the Curtin refugee prison in
Western Australia.

>From AAP reports:

"A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
(DIMA) said all but six of the protesters had "unstitched" themselves."

"The DIMA spokesman said it was not known how many detainees had stitched
their lips together as part of a wider hunger strike at the centre."

It is still not clear how many are involved in the hunger strike or what
their state of health is at present.

A spokesman for the Philip Ruddock, the Australian Immigration Minister,
said "We won't be responding to their pressure."

What is clear, however, is that the hunger-strike is not over and has
continued now for six days.  It's also clear that due to the extreme
remoteness of the camp and restrictions on media and legal aid, information
comes mostly via the authorities -- or it is smuggled out.

The hunger-strikers' demands are simple and easily met -- to be moved to
bearable accommodation and to have their applications for refugee status
processed immediately -- but even such minor demands are being dismissed
with an insistence by the Minister on the spectacle of appalling treatment
to act as a deterrent to other potential asylum-seekers.

PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO FAX AND EMAIL AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS TO INSIST THAT
THE DEMANDS OF THE HUNGER-STRIKERS AT THE CURTIN DETENTION CENTRE BE MET
IMMEDIATELY.

Fax to:

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs
Philip Ruddock
Fax: +61 2 6273 4144

CC to:

Prime Minister
John Howard
Fax: +61 2 6273 4100

Attorney-General
Daryl Williams
Fax: +61 2 6273 4102

Minister for Justice and Customs
Amanda Vanstone
Fax: +61 2 6273 7098

Other email addresses of Australian politicians:

Democrats:

senator.allison@aph.gov.au
senator.bourne@aph.gov.au
senator.lees@aph.gov.au
senator.murray@aph.gov.au
senator.woodley@aph.gov.au
senator.stott.despoja@democrats.org.au
Andrew.Bartlett@democrats.org.au

Greens:

senator.brown@aph.gov.au

ALP:

A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au
Kim.Beazley.MP@aph.gov.au
Laurie.Brereton.MP@aph.gov.au
Carmen.Lawrence.MP@aph.gov.au
Michael.Lee.MP@aph.gov.au
R.McClelland.MP@aph.gov.au
M.Latham.MP@aph.gov.au
Jenny.Macklin.MP@aph.gov.au
Bob.McMullan.MP@aph.gov.au
Lindsay.Tanner.MP@aph.gov.au
Andrew.Theophanous.MP@aph.gov.au

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