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20.2.18

National RAR Press Release 20 February 2018 Border Force refusal of medical attention




PRESS RELEASE
The spiteful decision by Australian Border Force to refuse a critically depressed son to accompany his mother to Australia for medical attention appals  all fair minded Australians said Marie Sellstrom President of Rural Australians for Refugees.  While politicians are arguing about their sex lives in Canberra refugees with life threatening conditions are suffering on Nauru and Manus.
Fatemeh an Iranian woman on Nauru has serious health problems including diabetes, imminent risk of heart attack and severe depression she is unable to come to Australia for urgent medical attention as she will not leave without her 16 year old son.
Her son has severe depression and is at risk of suicide.  His mother does not want to leave him alone on Nauru.
“The refusal by Australian Border Force to allow her son to accompany her is inhumane” said Marie Sellstrom National President of Rural Australians for Refugees “Australia has a duty of care for refugees they have sent to Nauru and Manus and we are disgusted at this decision to disregard the health of a mother and son who are both at risk”.

newsletter for 20 Feb 2018 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts


Next Market - Bellingen Sat 17th March
U3A session on refugee issues
Next Roadside Demo - Big Banana Coffs February 22nd 2:30pm
Behrouz Boochani reports from Manus
Seriously ill mother still trapped on Nauru

Coffs Harbourside market report

A great turnout of ten supporters  to help on our stall in Coffs Harbour on Sunday. The new venue , apart from the lack of shade until the newly planted trees grow, is very pleasant and well set out.  There was lots of positive interaction with visitors to our stall, as well as lively conversations  amongst our supporters. As always, a very good response from members of the public, together with deep dismay about the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees by our government.
Our next market stall will be at the Bellingen Community markets on Saturday 17th March.

U3A session on refugee issues

Some 25 people attended the U3A meeting on the subject of refugees on Monday 19th February in Nambucca Heads. In the first part of the meeting, Michael Blockey gave us a very comprehensive overview of the development of asylum policy by governments on both sides of politics, and mapped out the shift from the bipartisan policy of welcoming refugees to one of demonising them for party political advantage. The result has been the “race to the bottom” in which politicians use the tactics of fear and nationalism to turn the Australian public away from the tradition of wanting to give people a helping hand and to offer them the opportunity to build a new life in a safe country. In the second part of the session, Vigeeta Chauhan, who works for Settlement Services International in Coffs Harbour, gave us a detailed picture of how SSI works with newly arrived refugees to assist them in navigating  the complexities of moving to a new country, learning  a new language and adjusting to a completely new existence. SSI supports the refugees with housing, education, health issues, shopping, finding employment and much besides. It is a vital service, without which many refugees would simply find it impossible to adapt to their new lives. You can find further information at: www.ssi.org.au

Next roadside demonstration: Thursday 22nd February in Coffs Harbour

Our next roadside demonstration is this Thursday 22nd February outside the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour from 2.30 until 4.00 pm. Please do try to join us if you can, but remember to wear covered shoes to keep the ants at bay! We have lots of banners and placards to share and we need to continue to demonstrate to the public that many Australians are deeply appalled by the government’s cruel and punitive policy, which is designed to break people’s spirits and to encourage them to return to the danger that they have risked their lives to escape from.

Behrouz Boochani reports from Manus

On the fourth anniversary of the brutal murder of Reza Barati  at the hands of those paid by the Australian government to protect him, Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian refugee held on Manus island, writes passionately about Reza’s murder, and about the plight of the men still languishing there, many of them since 2013. Behrouz writes: “His death is an utter tragedy. The way he was killed, and the violence that left him dead, more than anything else, echoes the level of ruthlessness inherent in the system of offshore processing. Four years have passed since that event and questions are still left unanswered. Why didn’t the police force try to stop the attack by the locals and G4S officers on that night? Why weren’t those two Australians ( G4S guards implicated in Raza’s murder) pursued and investigated? And why didn’t they appear in any court? Also, what was the role of G4S guards who had the responsibility to protect the refugees? And why didn’t they carry out their responsibilities appropriately?”
You can read the whole article, together with a very moving poem by Behrouz, on our Facebook page.

Seriously ill mother still trapped on Nauru

The very sick mother who needs urgent heart treatment, remains on Nauru, simply because she insists that she cannot leave her only son on Nauru whilst she undergoes treatment in Australia. The Australian Border Force – not well known for its expertise in diagnosing patients’ needs – has received repeated requests, including two in January, for the mother to be evacuated from the island, but refuses to budge on the need for her to be accompanied by her son. The latest medical report states that : “she is at extremely high and imminent risk of having a catastrophic cardiac event such as heart attack, or sudden death due to arrhythmias.”  A former senior medical officer on Nauru who treated the mother, repeatedly warned the Australian immigration authorities that she needed a higher level of care than can be provided on Nauru. He states: “ For the Australian Border Force to use her son as a way of denying treatment is breathtakingly cynical.”
If you would like to protest about this to the government or the opposition, then please phone Malcolm Turnbull on (02)6277 7700 or Bill Shorten on (02) 6277 4022.




Check out the index of subjects on our blog  http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au 
It includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians and newspapers.

This newsletter is sent to >500 recipients

(482 likes)

Twitter Account @RARBellingenNam


The National RAR web site is at  www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au 
The National RAR facebook site is at  RAR Facebook


13.2.18

Newsletter for 13 February 2018 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts


Next Roadside Demo - Big Banana Coffs February 22nd 2:30pm
Next Market - Coffs Harbourside Sun 18th February
Fundraiser film, Hope Road, showing 4th March
Support Services International 
Judicial intervention to protect child on Nauru

Roadside demonstration report

We held a very successful roadside demonstration in Toormina last Thursday, with overwhelming support from passing motorists. It must surely be the case that a majority of Australians now understand that the cruelty and futility of offshore detention must be brought to an end. The present policy, however, given the Labor opposition’s support for  the status quo, can only be changed through pressure from the Australian public, and our actions are a part of that. A big thank you to all who came along to join the demo. Our next demo will be in Coffs Harbour, in front of the Big Banana on Thursday 22nd February from 2.30 until 4.00 pm. Please come and join us if you can.

Next market stall: Coffs Harbour. Sunday 18th February

A reminder that our next market stall is this coming Sunday 18th February at the Coffs Harbourside market, from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm. The market has now returned to its original site close to the jetty and we are looking forward to our first stall at the recently upgraded venue. We are looking for people to lend a hand between 9.00 am and 1.30 pm, so if you can spare an hour or two, then please let Mike know by emailing him at: mandm.griffin2@bigpond.com. We have our new open letter to Bill Shorten for people to sign, new leaflets to hand out and lots of merchandise to sell on behalf of the Asylum Seekers Centre.

Hope Road : screening in Bellingen on Sunday 4th March at 2.00 pm

A further reminder that we will be screening Hope Road at the Bellingen Memorial Hall on Sunday 4th March, and we do hope that lots of you will come along to see the film, to meet with fellow supporters of refugees and to help us raise much-needed funds for the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown. You will find a poster advertising the film attached to this newsletter. It would be greatly appreciated if you could print it and display it in your workplace, your local community centre, a local shop, or anywhere that might attract people’s attention. Please put the date in your diary.

Support Services International: an invitation

A number of our supporters have asked about the work of Support Services International, the not-for-profit organisation which has responsibility for helping refugees to settle in Coffs Harbour. One of our longstanding supporters, Michael Blockey, who organises a U3A course in Nambucca Heads, has arranged for Vigeeta Chauhan, who works for SSI, to give a talk to his Philosophers’ Cafe group  at their next session on Monday 19th February.  The group meets in the small hall of the Nambucca Community and Arts Centre, which is located on Ridge Street in Nambucca Heads, between the post office and the library. Michael will give an introductory talk on the journeys of asylum seekers fro their country of origin to Australia, and Vigeeta will then talk about the practical work of SSI in Coffs Harbour. The session starts at 10.00 am and finishes at midday.  A warm welcome is extended to all RAR members. There is a minimal charge to cover the cost of refreshments and the hall hire.

Judge intervenes to protect child refugee on Nauru

In yet another sorry example of our government’s cruel policy and its complete indifference to people’s suffering, it took the intervention of a judge to insist that a young girl be brought to Australia for treatment for her extreme mental health condition. The child, not yet a teenager, had been held on Nauru since arriving by boat in 2013, and had made multiple attempts on her life. Our government, in the face of detailed evidence to the contrary, continued to maintain the lie that the child could be safely treated as an outpatient at the Nauru hospital. The judge disagreed, stating: “The evidence indicates that the applicant’s psychiatric condition is very serious, that she poses an extreme suicide risk, and that her condition is such that she should be immediately admitted into a specialist child mental health facility for assessment and treatment.” It is deeply shameful that , firstly, the child’s serious mental health condition is a direct result of our government’s policy to punish and break people, and secondly that our government then should seek to deny the child access to appropriate care.
As a result of the intervention by George Newhouse, principal solicitor with the National Justice Project, the child is now receiving treatment in Australia.
How did we get to this?


Check out the index of subjects on our blog  http://bellorar.blogspot.com.au 
It includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians and newspapers.

This newsletter is sent to >500 recipients

(482 likes)

Twitter Account @RARBellingenNam


The National RAR web site is at  www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au 
The National RAR facebook site is at  RAR Facebook