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Last Updated: Friday 3 April 2020

Refugee doctor keen, but unable, to join coronavirus fight

3 April 2020

Tamer Antakly's medical specialty is the lungs — an organ among the most vulnerable to coronavirus.

With more than three decades of experience, he's humble when he notes he could be "useful" in Australian hospitals battling a deadly pandemic.

But he can't work in them.

The 58-year-old Syrian refugee, his wife and two daughters moved to Australia on humanitarian visas in 2015.

 

 

Read the full article here.

Fears for Iranian refugee removed from Jakarta-Melbourne flight amid coronavirus crisis
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29 March 2020

Australian safe haven visa holder Amir denied re-entry and sent back to Europe in case reminiscent of detained footballer Hakeem al-Araibi

Refugee advocates fear time is running out for a refugee to return to his Australian home after he was denied the right to board a flight from Indonesia to Australia because of his visa status.

In what advocates fear may be a repeat of the Hakeem al-Araibi case, which left a refugee wrongly detained in a Thai prison after a series of bureaucratic bungles over his visa status, Amir, a young Iranian refugee on an Australian safe haven visa, has been sent back to Turkey amid the coronavirus crisis.

Amir’s local MP, Peter Khalil, the Labor member for Wills in Victoria, said Amir had been granted permission to leave Australia to visit his mother in Turkey in early February, before cutting his trip short to return home as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world.

 

Read the full article here.

'We are sitting ducks for Covid 19': asylum seekers write to PM after detainee tested in immigration detention
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24 March 2020

Doctors are calling on people to be released from immigration detention, saying it could exacerbate the public health crisis

A detainee in Villawood detention centre has been tested for coronavirus, as asylum seekers and refugees in immigration detention centres across Australia say it is impossible for them to self-isolate and protect themselves from the virus.

“We are sitting ducks for Covid-19 and extremely exposed to becoming severely ill, with the possibility of death,” detainees from across immigration detention centres have written in a letter to prime minister Scott Morrison, pleading to be released into the community on health grounds.

Asylum seekers and refugees said they were “anxious and scared” of a Covid-19 outbreak inside detention, saying they were being held “in a potential death trap in which we have no option or means to protect ourselves”.

 

Read the full article here.

Fears for refugees after guard at Brisbane immigration detention centre tests positive for coronavirus
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19 March 2020

Refugees were brought to Australia from offshore detention, mostly for medical treatment

An immigration guard working at a Brisbane hotel being used as a makeshift detention centre has tested positive for coronavirus, prompting fears the confined refugee population could be vulnerable to an outbreak.

The hotel, at Kangaroo Point in inner Brisbane, is used by Australian Border Force to house refugees brought to Australia from offshore detention, mostly to receive specialist medical treatment.

Guardian Australia reported last year concerns that conditions were inhospitable, cramped and dirty.

 

Read the full article here.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton diagnosed with coronavirus
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13 March 2020

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed he has coronavirus.

The Federal Government frontbencher said he felt fine but woke up with a temperature and sore throat.

"I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19," Mr Dutton said in a statement.

"I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon that the test had returned positive.

 

 

Read the full article here.

17 March 2020

Some people will be happy to know that......

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has returned home and is recovering after his coronavirus diagnosis.

Mr Dutton tested positive for COVID-19 after waking up Friday morning with a sore throat and elevated temperature.

FFA Cup shirts to recognise refugees and asylum seekers still held in detention
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13 March 2020

Ten refugees’ names displayed on Albion Park jerseys --  'We want to see an end to suffering,’

says Craig Foster

The names of 10 refugees still held within Australia’s offshore immigration detention regime will feature in Australia’s premier club football cup competition this weekend.

Albion Park City FC players will take to the field for the Saturday’s FFA Cup preliminary round clash against Football Club Five Dock wearing jerseys bearing the names of 10 refugees still stranded in Papua New Guinea after seven years held offshore.

The names – Farhad, Samad, Ezatullah, Shamindan, Moz, Papi, Sanousi, Nader, Mohammad and Najib – represent the more than 450 refugees and asylum seekers still held in PNG or on Nauru

 

Read the full article here.

Manus Island refugees recount violent attacks by armed locals on apartment compound
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11 March 2020

Refugees relocated from Manus Island to Port Moresby say they have been attacked twice in less than a month

Refugees who have been moved from Manus Island to the Papua New Guinean capital of Port Moresby say they have endured two violent attacks in less than a month from local residents.

Two refugees have told Guardian Australia that in both instances, groups of local men have surrounded their compound armed with knives, iron bars and stones, and have threatened to kill the refugees inside.

They say that the first attack, which occurred at the end of February left one refugee with a broken leg, while the second attack, on Saturday night, resulted in a security guard being hospitalised.

 

 

Read the full article here.

Home affairs fought for three years to stop Serco detention centre manual release
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06 March 2020

Information Commissioner orders release, rejecting argument it would enable detainees to ‘intimidate Serco personnel’

Home affairs tried to suppress the release of Serco’s immigration detention centre operating manual by arguing it would allow immigration detainees to make human rights complaints as a “means of intimidating Serco personnel”.

The Department of Home Affairs and Serco, which helps run Australia’s onshore detention centres, fought for almost three years to keep the company’s detention centre policy and procedure manual secret from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

They warned the manual, if released to the ASRC through freedom of information laws, would provide a “guidebook of Serco’s operational responsiveness capabilities to detainees and ‘sympathisers of nefarious intent’”, an apparent reference to refugee advocates.

 

 

Read the full article here.

Manus guard pleads with Morrison to settle claim before taking life
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3 March 2020

Another life claimed as a result of Australia's immigration detention policy - this time a guard and not an inmate

A former security guard left severely traumatised by the deadly riots at the Manus Island detention centre has taken her own life before her legal battle with the Australian government and G4S Australia reaches court - after writing a suicide note addressed to the Prime Minister.

Diane Parker, 53, was one of 18 former staff to pursue compensation through the courts - with the first case to proceed to trial next week.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald can reveal Ms Parker pleaded with the government to settle her claim in a hand-written letter addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who was immigration minister in 2014 when weeks of protests by asylum seekers erupted into three days of violence.

 

 

Read the full article here.

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