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Community Blockades Detention Center To Protect Asylum Seekers

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Community members have blockaded the gates of MITA detention centre in Broadmeadows this morning in a desperate bid to stop the deportation of Tamil asylum seeker, ‘Santharuban’. Grave fears are held for him should he be returned to Sri Lanka.

As a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), he faces plausible threat to his safety on return. Former Tiger members and returned Tamil refugees are routinely harassed, interrogated and some are subjected to torture by Sri Lankan security forces.

The UN Committee Against Torture (UNCAT) has asked the Australian government to stop Santharuban’s deportation until it is able to perform an investigation. The Home Affairs Department has issued a deportation notice for the 22nd of February in spite of the UNCAT request.

Close the Camps Action Collective spokesperson, Sumarlinah Winoto, stated “we stand with the Tamil Refugee Council and the wider community to show the Australian and Sri Lankan governments that we will not be complicit in the deportation of people to danger”.

Spokesperson, Gaye Demanuele, said “The fact that we are compelled to take such strong action today demonstrates just how severely our government has failed in its obligation to uphold the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees. We can not stand by while our fellow human beings’ lives are destroyed; we must act”.

Close the Camps Action Collective calls on the Australian government to immediately cease deportations of asylum seekers who rightfully sought our asylum and protection.

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