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February 25, 2021

Campaign targets govt’s inhumane treatment of refugees

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Ballina Region for Refugees (BR4R) has become one of more than a hundred organisations and grassroots groups to sign up to the ‘Time for a Home’ campaign to get refugees and people seeking asylum out of detention and living in the community.

The nationwide campaign, initiated by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), was launched on December 3 via Zoom, with actions planned to continue until Refugee Day on 20 June, 2021.

A ‘toots for tolerance’ rally was held on Kerr Street, outside Ballina Fair on December 9 and during the hour-long roadside rally, Ballina Region for Refugees received a record 203 supportive toots for tolerance and for an end to refugee detention.

Songs for freedom were also sung by Ballina a Cappella during the rally including Freedom is Coming and Let Them Go.

‘Today, there are still 290 people held against their will in Papua New Guinea and Nauru,’ said Ruth Henderson, president of BR4R.

‘Over 1,000 women, men, and children have been transferred to Australia for critical medical treatment, which very few have actually received. All of those now live in “transitory” visa limbo including in immigration detention centres and so-called “alternative places of detention”, such as the Mantra and Kangaroo Point Hotel prisons. After seven years of uncertainty for many of those people, we think it is time for a home.’

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