Rooftop Protest at Yongah Hill Detention Centre

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE 14 September 2021

A group of at least 15 immigration detainees have begun a protest on the roof of Kingfisher Compound in Yongah Hill detention.

The group is protesting against being removed from Yongah Hill to Christmas Island. There are reports that prior to the rooftop protest, the Serco ERT had assaulted detainees who were protesting inside Kingfisher compound. "Christmas Island has become a remote immigration warehouse," said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, "People are being held there for increasing lengths of time. They are separated from their families, from their community networks and from legal support. "The use of s501 of the Migration Act to detain people indefinitely is becoming a major human rights scandal that needs to be urgently addressed. Just because people are not citizens, the Migration Act can be used to impose extra-judicial custodial sentences on top of any sentence imposed by a court." Department statistics show that as of 31 July, 2021, there were 208 people being held in detention on Christmas Island, and that more than 70 per cent of all people in immigration detention are there because of visa cancellations. Some of the 501s (including some Afghan refugees in detention) have won successful appeals against their visa cancellations, but have been waiting months and years for the Home Affairs Minister to reconsider their cancellation decision. "The rooftop protest is the tip of an iceberg of injustice," said Rintoul. For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

Photos attached; video clip available.