40 protesters march to Sydney's Department of Immigration headquarters

15:22, September 30, 2010      

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About 40 protesters on Thursday marched from Sydney Central Station to the entrance of Sydney's Department of Immigration headquarters to condemn the Australian government's treatment of asylum seekers.

It follows a 12-day hunger strike, which ended on Wednesday night, by a group of Iranian and Kurdish asylum seekers at Sydney' s Villawood detention center.

"This particular hunger strike has been by far one of the most serious hunger strikes that we have seen in the history of mandatory detention in Australia," the Refugee Action Coalition ( RAC) organizer Ian Rintoul told the protesters, who chanted: "say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here".

Rintoul said it was shocking that people had to threaten suicide and self harm before authorities took notice.

About eight police officers guarded the entrance of the department's building on Lee Street in Sydney Central Business District (CBD) as the protesters chanted among lunchtime crowds

Source: Xinhua


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