Around 70 people gathered at the office of Julie Bishop MP, minister for foreign affairs, in Subiaco this morning to send a message to the Australian Government that the abuse and conditions detailed in recently released Nauru files must end.
They also called on the government to take responsibility for the culture of secrecy that has been created around immigration detention, and to shut down Australia’s offshore detention camps.
Last week, The Guardian Australia published more than 2 000 leaked reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and terrible living conditions from inside Australia’s detention centre in Nauru.
Peaceful protesters at the event, organised by the Christian group Love Makes a Way, placed paper dolls as a symbol of the people who have been affected by abuse. Attendees wrote on each doll excerpts taken directly from the leaked reports. People present took turns in reading out the harrowing accounts.
Geoff Bice, justice and mission consultant for the Uniting Church WA, was present.
“The warehousing of asylum seekers in remote offshore locations is a reprehensible way of treating people who have come seeking our help. The leaked Nauru files display more clearly than ever that the Australian Government has no moral integrity in keeping innocent people in such cruel and damaging conditions,” he said.
Similar actions are being held across the country throughout the week. In WA, events were also held today in Fremantle and Forrestfield. An event will also be held on Wednesday 17 August, 12.30pm outside the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in West Perth.
For more information visit the Love Makes a Way Facebook event.