Today, on my way home from uni, I attended a protest in Melbourne in support of refugees. Especially ‘Abyan’, whose story is below (and in the cartoon above).
These detention centres are hellholes…fit to be only called concentration camps. There were several speakers at the rally. All made very good points.
From the Refugee Action Collective, members of whom spoke at the rally:
“Bring back Abyan
All pregnant refugees on Nauru to Australia now
Close Nauru, close Manus
Australian immigration officials seized Abyan from Villawood on Friday morning and dumped her back in Nauru in an extraordinarily desperate effort to avoid court action that might have prevented her from being removed to Nauru.
Abyan has not been medically treated since she was sexually assaulted. Despite being told that she would see in-house counsellors she did not get access to any counsellors for her planned termination and in interviews with nurses she did not have access to interpreters or her lawyer.
The department has wilfully ignored the medical advice that Abyan not be returned to the place of her rape. When she was in Sydney she told advocates, “I cannot go back to where this happened to me; I cannot go to where I was raped. What happened to me there (on Nauru) is what caused me to run away from Somalia. What happened to me in Somalia is what happened to me there (i.e. in Nauru).”
Turnbull’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, says that having a baby is ‘a racket’ and that pregnant women appealing for help are blackmailers. He says he will not allow pregnant asylum seekers and refugees to be brought from Nauru to Australia to give birth safely in Australia.
Golestan is a stateless 34 year-old, Kurdish asylum seeker, who has been on Nauru with her husband and four-year old son for over 16 months living in a stifling tent. She is a diabetic and is 36 weeks pregnant. Giving birth is risky enough; on Nauru, infant mortality is eight times higher than in Australia. All pregnant refugee women should be bought to Australia immediately.”
EDIT: petition here: https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/bring-her-back/