Newsletter – Gunfire on Manus

Also see video footage taken earlier tonight on Manus Island.

“They just been lucky that they are still alive
…This is how we live inside the Manus prison.”

Manus detainee videos during alleged gunfire

Footage from a detainee in the Manus Island detention centre on Friday evening as gunshots ring out.

Posted by The Age on Friday, 14 April 2017




What is the Revalidation Bill?

This bill is a pernicious piece of legislation presently before the Senate. It has been presented in an extremely dishonest way. Supposedly merely a bit of legislation to enable more efficient administration of a new trial 10 year multiple entry visa for Chinese nationals, in fact it has extremely wide ranging  and concerning consequences.

They effect of the bill will allow the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, entirely at his discretion, to arbitrarily have any group, as he defines, be required to have their visas or residency permits ‘revalidated’. That is without reason he can say ‘I know you have a valid visa or residency status, but we are going to take another look at that and might decide not to reissue it.’

The critical and most dangerous element of this is that the Minister gets decide what ‘group’ or ‘class of persons’ have to have their visa or residency ‘revalidated’. From the bill

96E   Minister may determine that certain visa holders must complete revalidation check in the public interest

(1)  If the Minister thinks it is in the public interest to do so, the Minister may, by legislative instrument, determine that a specified class of persons holding a visa of a prescribed kind (however described) must complete a revalidation check for the visa.”


Who might it affect?

The minster may define a ‘class of persons’ to be

  • People from a particlar country, say Iran or Afghannistan
  • People on a particular visa, say a refugee visa or a permanent protection visa
  • A combination of these things, say refugees on permanent protection visas from Somalia who arrived between this date and that date.


There is no oversight for this process. It is entirely up to the Minister, who once a visa is being revalidated may declare that the visa should not be issued on national security or public interest grounds. It is effectively the power to cancel visas for no genuine or legitimate reason whatsoever, even when the the person who’s visa is being cancelled has done nothing wrong or is even suspected of having or intending to do anything wrong.

This is a further expansion of executive power, unchecked by the judiciary.

The Guardian has an article on this here.


What can we do?

If the Greens (almost certainly) and the ALP (increasingly likely) vote against the bill in the Senate, then the government needs the cross-bench senators to support the bill. The Senators who are most likely  to be persuaded to block the bill are

Senator Derryn Hinch
(02) 6277 3168
1300 498 035

Senator David Leyonhjelm
(02) 6277 3054
1300 884 092

Senator Jacqui Lambie
(02) 6277 3063
(03) 6431 2233

Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore
(02) 6277 3178
(08) 8232 0440

Senator Stirling Griff
(02) 6277 3713
1300 556 115

Senator Nick Xenophon
(02) 6277 3713
1300 556 115

It’s preferred to actually phone them. This takes up more staff time and has more  impact on the Senators perception of public opinion.
Be polite with staff, but put a firm opinion.

We suggest the following talking points

  • This bill is further expansion of executive power
  • This bill would allow the minister to discriminate on the basis of racial or national identity
  • The bill could see people having visas or residency cancelled when they have done nothign wrong or are even suspected of having done or intending to do anything wrong
  • This bill would almost certainly be abused by the present minister for purely politicla purposes
  • This minister can’t be trusted, he has consistently shown a disdain for the rule of law and contempt for concepts of fairness and justice

For Human Rights Week, RRAN presents three films , filmed and produced on Nauru by people banished there.

Hear their voices. Bring them here. Let them stay.


Dark Way

Sunday December 11, 2016
from 3.00 PM
Catholic Education Office – 50 Ruislip St. Leederville.
Parking on site.

Entry by donation



When: Saturday 3rd of September, from 9am.
Where: Wilson Car Park, Corner of Pier Street/Wellington Street, Perth

Why Wilson Security?
Following the Guardian’s leak of the Nauru Files, we think it’s time to step up the campaign to remove Wilson Security from any position of power over people who are seeking protection.

Wilson Security is a major player in the detention centre industry and profits from the imprisonment of adults and children.

Let’s not wait for another murder, rape or suicide on Manus or Nauru. Cases of undeniable sexual and physical assault have gone unreported for too long.

We must step up our demands that Wilson Security’s subcontract to operate the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island be cancelled, and that these camps be closed for good and all of Australia’s political prisoners be brought back to Australia and provided permanent protection and resettlement.

On Saturday 3rd September you can take action against Wilson Security.

#BoycottWilson #CancelTheContracts #CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere



A 2016 World Refugee Week event

Saturday the 25th June 2016.

12 PM — Event start at Pioneer Reserve, opposite the Fremantle train station.
12:15 PM — Welcome to Country and speakers
1 PM — Walk

A rally to establish Fremantle with pride as a place of safety for asylum seekers and refugees, and a walk through the heart of Freo in solidarity.

#NoCrimeToSeekAsylum #EndMandatoryDetention

#CloseTheCamps #BringThemHere #LetThemStay

#StopDeportationsToDanger #ForThoseWhoveComeAcrossTheSeas

Come check out the floats and the Border Farce Refugee Lottery.


6.00 pm Friday 6th of May, 2016
Perth  Cultural Centre. James St. Mall, Northbridge.
Join us in calling for an end to the killing of Australia’s political prisoners.

We hold this vigil in memory of all those who have been brutalised, beaten and broken by the detention regime and call the government to account for brutal violence against people who have come to Australia in search of protection. 

There should be no more deaths in our pacific black sites. 
There should be no more temporary visas. 
There should be no more anguish rendered invisible by the Australian government. 
People who have sought asylum in Australia must have their protection claims assessed in Australia, the temporary protection visa regime must cease and refugees must be provided with permanent protection and resettlement.

Reza Barati was 23 years old.
He was brutally murdered on Manus Island.

Leo Seemanpillai was 29 years old.
He fatally self-immolated, fearing forced deportation to torture in Sri Lanka.

Hamid Kehazaei was 24 years old
He died after sustaining a treatable infection, he suffered medical neglect that proved fatal.

Omid Ali Avaz was 29 years old
He took his life, in the Australian community after living for year in limbo.

Raza was 25 years old.
He took his life, after suffering years of uncertainty on a bridging visa.

Mohammad Nasim Najafi was in his mid-20s.
He died under suspicious circumstances in the Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre.

Khodayar Amini was 29 years old.
He died by self-immolation in Dandenong, fearing redetainment by immigration authorities. Before his death he stated, “I ask you to stand up for the rights of refugees and stop people being killed just because they have become refugees. Humanity is not a slogan; every human has the right to live.”

Reza Alizadeh was 26 years old.
He took his life in the Brisbane airport, in fear of redetainment.

Fazal Chegeni was 32 years old.
He died on Christmas Island under suspicious circumstances, his decline in mental health was well documented and known to the Department.

Rob Peihopa was 42 years old.
He died in the Villawood detention centre under suspicious circumstances.

Omid was 23 years old.
He fatally self-immolated on Nauru, before his death he stated ,
“This is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.”

Nauru’s political prisoners have asked “Who is next?”
We ask the government to put an end to this state violence.
Freedom should not be gained only in death.

Currently a 19 year old woman Somali woman named Hodan is in critical condition is a Brisbane hospital after self-immolating on Monday night.

We will gather on Friday to remember all those named and unnamed, known and unknown who have been beaten, raped, abused and killed by Australia’s immigration system.

Please join us.

#stopthekillingsinourblacksites #nomoredyingforfreedom

One of the extremely important things that activists do is maintain direct communication with people detained on Manus Island and Nauru. It is literally the main and often the only way we know what’s happening in these places. Without this link, we would only hear the lies and  misinformation that are provided by the Australian, PNG and Nauruan governments.
The only journalist to have been allowed to visit detention on  Nauru is a self-acknowledged supporter of the government’s offshore detention policy. No journalist has been inside Manus detention centre. Pictures and information that journalists use to expose what is going on inside these hell-holes come via direct contact that advocates have with the brave men and women incarcerated in Nauru and Manus.

This article published in the Guardian this morning was only possible because of the contact RRAN advocates had last night with the men on Manus.

Phone credit also means communication with family can be done without every word spoken being listened to or every message sent being watched by guards. Lawyers can be contacted and even on occasion journalists spoken with. Most importantly of all, those seeking asylum have the opportunity to become friends with everyday Australians who do not agree with what is being done to them. We can share with them photos and videos of our protests and rallies. We can offer support and friendship. We can tell them we will never give up until they are free.

Smart phones are considered contraband as transparency is not something the Australian, Nauruan or PNG governments are keen on. The Australian government and opposition don’t want those in Nauru and Manus to know not everyone supports the policy of offshore detention. They want those who have fled persecution and asked us for asylum to give up and go home.

Phone credit in Nauru and Manus is expensive. Advocates pay for it themselves and we are finding it difficult to sustain. Please help us continue to provide an avenue for the voices of those incarcerated to be heard and for us to share the message of WELCOME by contributing to our communication fund.

$40 per month covers monthly credit for one person on Nauru and $38 per month covers monthly credit for one person on Manus.  If you wish to make a regular donation towards phone credits you can set up a regular donation into an account set up to fund the regular credits RRAN does. Any amount is helpful and welcome.

Please make any contributions to the RRAN account with “phone credit” as the deposit description.

Account name: Refugee Rights Action Network (WA)
Bank: National Australia Bank
BSB: 086-006
Account number: 53-142-9447




While the focus of the Palm Sunday marches this year will  be the fate of 267 asylum seekers who are at risk of being returned to Nauru, we also remember the broader issues and other people who suffer under Austrlia’s asylum seeker policies.

The dissatisfaction with these asylum seeker polices has never been stronger. The policies have never been worse. Bi-partisan support for the current regime is almost total.

Men, women and children of all ages continue to be detained and ‘processed’ in the off shore black sites of Manus Island and Nauru. Places where they have been raped, assaulted and in one case murdered by staff.

Even those found to be refugees are not being offered durable solutions or realistic options to resettle and recover from their refugee experience. All at a cost of billions of dollars to the Australian taxpayer.

On shore there are still people being detained for periods of up to seven years or more. There are still thousands and thousands of people on bridging visas waiting for a decision on their asylum claims. The new ‘fast track’ process that they are subject to is patently unfair and unjust. The best that these people can hope for is some form of temporary visa if they are found to be refugees. They will have no certainty, no ability to be reunited with family or to bring their loved ones to safety.

And then there are those in increasing number who have been refused visas all together. Asylum seekers are in need of our protection, not more difficulty. We are inviting people from all walks of life to express their dissatisfaction with the current asylum seeker policy in a peaceful walk through the streets of Perth.

We have had very successful Palm Sunday peaceful walks in 2014 and 2015. We want 2016 to be the biggest yet!