Drop the restrictions on visits to Villawood
Protest at Villawood detention centre, Miowera Rd (near Cnr Gurney Rd)
11.30am Sunday May 27 see map here
Sign online petition here
We will also visit the Villawood housing compound after the rally. If you want to visit fill out the form attached (also online) and fax by Friday to 02 9780 9292 or post by Thursday to “Sydney Immigration Residential Housing, PO Box 533, Chester Hill NSW 2162″. If you need names of asylum seekers to visit or help with form email RAC at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you haven’t visited before you should also fill out the form at this link and bring with you on the day.
The Immigration Department has moved to place new unjustified and arbitrary restrictions on visiting asylum seekers at the residential housing compound of Villawood detention centre. A number of individuals, including Senator Lee Rhiannon, have been barred from visiting or had their visits cut short in recent weeks in a blatant effort to exclude people who are known critics of detention conditions.
The Department is now demanding that 24 hours notice be given of any visit to the Villawood housing compound. This would make it harder to access Villawood and drastically reduce the number of visits to asylum seekers.
Visiting arrangements have also been changed to allow a visitor to only speak to the person named on their visiting form, creating an intolerable and impractical situation that prevents people socially interacting or even having conversations with people they know. These newly imposed arrangements are an attack on the rights of refugees and visitors alike; creating a distressing situation for refugees, some of whom have been in detention for three years. These decisions are being made by senior people in the Immigration Department, such as Director of Detentions Operations, Steve Karras, with the knowledge of Minister Chris Bowen. See RAC’s press release about recent bans and the new restrictions here
From the Refugee Action Coalition