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Media Release: Our lives and freedom are no lottery, says Refugee Voices

Refugee Voices condemns the Australian Government for doing too little too late to resettle Australian refugees who have been subjected to Australia’s inhumane offshore processing regime for close to a decade.

After finally reaching an agreement with New Zealand to offer permanent protection to 450 refugees over three years, Ahmad Hakim Refugee Voices CEO, says far more needs to be done.

“Not only does this arrangement mean that people’s lives will be in limbo for another three years, but the 450 places also leave many of our brothers and sisters in unsafe conditions, and concerningly, at the whim of a cruel Government and Minister for years to come,” Hakim said.

“To be honest, while this is good news, it is nothing to be celebrated.” It is estimated that there are some 1,384 people who have been subjected to Australia’s offshore processing who remain in Nauru, PNG and Australia waiting for a pathway for resettlement.

Some 51 of these members have been unnecessarily and cruelly detained in hotels and detention centres around Australia for over two years. All of whom have been cleared by the Australian Government as posing no security risk to the community.

“Each of these people have been waiting for a pathway to permanent protection for close to ten years,” Hakim said. “They have been denied appropriate medical attention, living conditions, reunification with their families, and painfully so, with no end in sight.”

“As with all refugees like myself, these are our brothers and sisters who have fled war, conflict, and persecution very similar to that of Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“If we are going to be a country that stands against war and conflict, it’s time we stand with those who are most severely affected by it. It’s time our government ends its racist policies and lets each of these people rebuild their lives.”

Refugee Voices is a newly established refugee run charity that has supported each of the men released from hotel detention to raise funds and rebuild their lives in the community.

“It’s safe to say that our work far from ends with this New Zealand deal. And we’ll be making our voices heard loud and clear as the election draws closer, ensuring that Scott Morrison knows that this small offer does not make peace.”

Media contact Ahmad Hakim 0457449222. Available for comment and interview.

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