Second roof-top protest ends safely in Sydney detention center

11:18, September 24, 2010      

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A second roof-top protest at Villawood detention center in Sydney's west ended safely on Thursday night, the Australian Department of Immigration said on Friday.

Negotiators managed to get one man down about 4 p.m. (local time) on Thursday, while the others came down of their own accord in two groups, at 10:30 p.m and 11 p.m., Department of Immigration said.

The immigration department said four of the protesters were taken to hospital as a precautionary measure and two remained under observation on Friday.

Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said on Friday he wanted to send a clear message that protests would not assist or alter visa outcomes in any way.

"The protests this week at Villawood have been about people who are not happy with the progress of their applications to stay in Australia," Bowen told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.

"Many of the people on the roof realized that it was highly likely they were going to be deported."

The second roof-top protest involved five men and four women, who climbed onto the roof of the Villawood center on Wednesday and were threatening to jump off.

Their demonstration came after a 30-hour protest which started on Monday by 11 other detainees on the roof of another wing of the detention center.

That was sparked by the death of 36-year-old Fijian Josefa Rulani, who killed himself at the center on Monday.

Source: Xinhua


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