Today’s historic release of 26 medevac refugees held in Melbourne’s hotels restores hope to our brothers and sisters seeking asylum across Australia, said Refugee Voices CEO Ahmad Hakim outside Melbourne’s Detention Centre today.
“As a sector and impassioned individuals, we have been advocating each and every day to see the release of the 60 medevac refugees who arrived in Melbourne for medical treatment over a year ago,” Mr Hakim said.
“Following thousands protesting in the street and an incredible civil mobilisation by people across Melbourne, this final release of freedom for these men restores hope to us all.”
The refugee-led organisation tasked with the responsibility to raise the voices of people from refugee backgrounds has worked closely with many of the men in detention to help build their platform and their voice.
“They’re our brothers through and through and I cannot tell you the joy it brings me and many others from refugee communities to see humanity and fairness play out in this act.
“These men are artists, they’re advocates and the one thing they all want is to rebuild their lives in our community with love and passion.
“As someone who has been a refugee twice in my life and sought protection in Australia, I can assure you of the incredible resilience and substance that these men have to be here today.
“We call on Minister Dutton to extend this policy to all 200 men who remain detained in hotels across Australia and bring back the compassionate and fair society we know so many support.
“This truly is a reminder of the power we have as a people when we join together to stand for humanity and a more compassionate society.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Ahmad Hakim – firstname.lastname@example.org
Interview available with CEO Ahmad Hakim, lived experience of seeking asylum in Australia and ongoing relationships with the men in detention including Mostafa Azimitabar.