RAC NSW MEDIA RELEASE
The Villawood hunger strike has dramatically escalated today (Friday)
with more than 100 people, a majority of the detainees, across all
nationalities, joining the protest. Reports from inside Villawood
indicate that almost no-one went to the dining area today.
Meanwhile another Chinese hunger strike was taken to hospital around
2.30pm Saturday with grave fears that his sight may be permanently
The man in his early 40s is a diabetic and has been on hunger strike for
nine days since the Villawood protest began following the deportation of
Chinese woman on Wednesday 28 March.
Detainees said that the man was unable to see when he was taken from the
Anxiety levels inside Villawood have risen sharply with large numbers of
police maintaining an obvious presence throughout the detention centre.
A high wire fence mounted in concrete
footings has been erected around the detention centre and water filled
barricades placed at the main entrance and the roadway leading into the
There is an undeclared state of emergency inside Villawood, said Ian
Rintoul. It is a ridiculous waste of money and a thoughtless,
vindictive act by the Immigration department. The Immigration department
is trying to intimidate the asylum seekers and isolate the hunger
strikers, but their plan is badly backfiring.
There is a feeling that Australian people do care and will hear their
voice across the wire fences. Thats why more people are joining the
hunger strike protest, said Ian Rintoul.
Easter is always a stark reminder of the values espoused by the
Coalition government, and the hypocrisy of the government Ministers.
While many of them will go to church services where the message is one
of hope, compassion and reconciliation. Yet inside the detention centres
the government spreads despair.
The asylum seekers want to hear from the Immigration department. Is the
Minister listening or is he turning a deaf ear to the appeals to stand
up for human rights and stop long term detention and stop the
deportations to China?
Refugee supporters and others will hold a protest at Kirribilli House on
Easter Sunday, 8 April, assembling at 12.00 at Bradfield Park before
marching to the Prime Ministers residence.
For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
Refugee Action Collective - Victoria