STOP PRESS: Malalai Joya from Afghanistan will speak at Melbourne protest against Mandatory Detention today at 2 pm State Library. She will join Senator Hanson Young and Brian Walters in speaking out against current detention policy.
Malalai Joya has been called the bravest woman in Afghanistan and more recently was named in the New Statesmans Top 50 People Who Matter list for her unwavering crusade against the unjust atrocities faced by the people of Afghanistan.
Joya will visit Australia in November for a program of talks that will highlight the true situation of Afghanistan today, which is a devastating contradiction to the inaccurate reports told by the international media.
She will also be the voice of the women of Afghanistan, echoing their silenced sentiment for equality and humanity, and for an end to the horrific violence that they endure in their daily lives.
Banished from parliament in 2007 for speaking out against those warlords who still hold power in liberated Afghanistan, Joya has since toured the world in an attempt to expose the reality: Corruption and violence is rife, and the notion that life for women there has improved since the US occupation in 2001 is a mere façade.
Among the many awards Joya has won, Joya was given the International Human Rights in Film Award at Berlin in 2007 and the Anna Politkovskaya Award in 2008. Her exceptional story can be read in her book Raising My Voice.
NOVEMBER 3 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Over 35 refugee, humanitarian and community groups are backing the protest this Sunday November 7 in opposition to the mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
The rally, which will begin at the State Library at 2 pm and march to Federation Square will be addressed by a range of speakers including Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
The event has been called by the Refugee Advocacy Network (RAN), the coalition of organisations that organised the 3,000 strong march on World Refugee Day (June 20) earlier this year. The Network is supported by a wide range of organisations including Amnesty International, The Greens, Labor for Refugees, the Refugee Action Collective, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, and many more (see full list of supporting groups below).
RAN spokesperson Sue Bolton said today: We are calling on all supporters of refugee rights to take to the streets this weekend. It is time that those who oppose the bipartisan consensus of scapegoating refugees raise their voices and demand a fundamental change in the way this country treats people who come here seeking asylum.
The crisis in Australias detention system is increasingly acute said Bolton. Protests, hunger strikes and incidents of self-harm are on the rise. More and more people are coming to realise that the system of mandatory detention is inherently unjust, is punishing the innocent, and must be gotten rid of. And yet the governments latest policy announcement proposes to end the crisis by setting up yet more detention centres with an additional 1900 beds which will further entrench the mandatory detention regime that should instead be abolished.
LIST OF ORGANISATIONS BACKING NOVEMBER 7 REFUGEE PROTEST
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
Australian Education Union (Vic)
Australian Services Union
Australian Tamil Congress
Australia West Papua Association
Ballarat Circle of Friends
Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project
Edmund Rice Asylum Seeker Project
Free Tamil Eelam
Geelong Trades Hall
Geelong Refugee Action and Information Network (GRAIN)
Humanitarian Crisis Hub
Islamic Council of Victoria
Jewish Labour Bund Inc
Justice and International Mission, Uniting Church
Labor for Refugees
Latrobe University SRC
Melbourne Unitarian Church
National Union of Students
Queenscliff Rural Australians for Refugees
Refugee Action Collective (Vic)
Researchers for Asylum Seekers
Surf Coast Rural Australians for Refugees
The Greens (Vic)
The Spirit of Eureka
the Tamil Coordinating Committee
The Union of Australian Women (Vic)
Victorian Council of Churches
Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Womens Coalition