9 Christian leaders arrested protesting asylum seekers’ deporation

Last week 9 Australian Christian leaders were arrested after they protested against the deportation of asylum seekers.

The nine leaders from different Church traditions were protesting the deportation of 267 men, women and children to detention camps on the Pacific island of Nauru.

The majority of them are asylum seekers who were brought from the island to Australia because they needed treatment for serious medical conditions.

More than 30 are babies born in Australia to asylum-seeker mothers.

A one-year-old baby named Asha and the child of Nepalese asylum-seekers, was held on Nauru with her parents before being brought to the Australian mainland for medical treatment last month.

On Sunday Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said Asha and her parents would be sent to community detention from Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

Refugee advocates welcomed Dutton’s announcement, hailing it as a victory for their campaign against the deportations to Nauru of Asha and 266 other asylum-seekers also in Australia for medical care.

“No-one should be in detention on Nauru, where there is no functioning hospital – but it would be particularly cruel to rip children out of classrooms and send away these 37 babies born on Australian soil,” said Love Makes a Way spokesperson Kate Leaney.

About ten church communities are supporting refugees.

All are willing to open doors and provide hospitality to the asylum seekers.

“We offer this refuge because there is irrefutable evidence from health and legal experts that the circumstances asylum seekers, including children, would face if sent back to Nauru are tantamount to state sanctioned abuse,” said Peter Catt, the Anglican Dean of Brisbane.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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