5 asylum seekers protest on Australia's Darwin detention roof

13:57, July 18, 2011      

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Security staff is trying to talk five protesting asylum seekers down from the roof of Northern Immigration Detention Center in Darwin of Australia, Australia Associated Press (AAP) reported on Monday.

A Department of Immigration spokesman told AAP that three men climbed onto the roof of the Northern Immigration Detention Center late Friday. Another two men joined the three protesters on Monday morning.

The protesters, including an Iranian asylum seekers, who have been in detention for up to 17 months waiting for their applications to be assessed, are holding up signs appealing for their release into community.

Serco, the company responsible for managing the center, was negotiating with the men to end their action.

The men's safety is the main priority, the immigration spokesman said.

Recently, Australia immigration detention centers have been facing overcrowding problem, due to the large amount of boat arrival in Australian waters.

There have also been a number of wide-spread protests inside the detention centers in the past few months, as detainees are unsatisfied with the delay of their refugee status processing.

Earlier, Asylum Seeker Support Network spokesman Carl O' Connor said tensions are rising alarmingly especially inside Northern Immigration Detention Facility, as five detainees last month attempted suicide in one week.

He said Immigration Department needs to urgently move some of these men out of detention and into the community or process their claims quickly.

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