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MEDIA STATEMENT: Refugees in Melbourne hunger strike as hope is lost

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Refugee Voices has been in contact with a number of refugees in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) who are now entering their fourth day of a hunger strike.

The refugees are a couple of weeks away from entering their ninth year in detention. They are tired, traumatised and distressed. When every other element of their lives has been stripped from them and controlled, their bodies are the only thing they have left.

The refugees have lost hope and are using their bodies to protest their ongoing detention. They do not understand and are questioning why they remain in detention when there are many refugees from Manus and Nauru living in the Australian community.

Refugee Voices would like to ask the Australian Government the same question. Why are these men still in detention when others have been released into the community?

'People are sick and tired of the uncertainty they face every day they are in living in detention,' says Refugee Voices CEO, Ahmad Hakim.

'These people were brought to Australia for medical treatment because of existing health concerns, and many didn't receive the care they needed.

'They have been found to be genuine refugees, yet many still remain locked up for almost nine years now.

'Why are so many still being denied their rights to live freely and safely within the community?

'We ask the Australian community to raise their voices and contact the Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke and the Minister for Home Affairs, Karen Andrews and demand an end to this cruel detention and to free the refugees into the community.'

For further comment, please contact Ahmad Hakim on 0457 449 222.

Detainees in Melbourne Immigration Transport Accommodation enter their fourth day of a hunger strike as they demand their release from eight years of detention.

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