Democratic Rights and Detainees

For the past 6 weeks there have been protests outside a Kangaroo Point Hotel on Main Street, not far from Brisbane CBD. About one hundred refugees are detained in the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel, with no trial or release date, for committing no crime.

They’ve been silently protesting on their balconies every afternoon for over a month now.

What is the legal basis for state and federal governments to restrict rights to peaceful assembly in Kangaroo Point?

Are police upholding a health directive by the Chief Medical Officer? Under what regulations?

What is the charge for holding up a protest sign?

What is the legal basis for such a large police presence?

There needs to be a discussion about how best to confront the detention of the refugees. There is a welfare aspect and a political aspect to this issue.

How are they to be dealt with? and by whom?

Also there are many refugees held in community detention, there are international obligations.

The refugees in Kangaroo Point were brought here under the Medivac legislation which was repealed by the federal parliament late last year.

On what basis are refugees now being held in the Kangaroo Point apartments?
In legal terms the refugees are deemed to be transitory persons and that means they have no appeal to request a visa or to be released from arbitrary detention.

There needs to be more discussion about this, perhaps sponsored by Jonathan Sri, Councillor for The Gabba and the various refugee groups (Refugee Action Collective Queensland RAC, Refugee Solidarity Brisbane / Meanjin, and the political groups and individuals who have involved in this issue for a long time.

Ian Curr
23 May 2020

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