16 Apr 2015

Blockade at Australian centre over Nauru

9:34 am on 16 April 2015

The Refugee Action Coalition says around 70 asylum seekers are blockading a compound in the Wickham Point detention centre outside of Darwin to try to prevent mostly asylum seeker families from being returned to Nauru.

The 70 asylum seekers are also families from Nauru who fear being returned.

One asylum seeker told the Refugee Action Coalition, from inside Wickham Point, that they are just trying to help each other.

The stand-off began around 2.00 pm Darwin time yesterday, when Serco corrections officers attempted to forcibly remove people to Sun compound as a preliminary measure to their transfer to Nauru.

The officers have withdrawn from the compound although there are now fears that Serco could use its emergency response team to break the blockade.

The Nauru transfers have become a feared almost weekly routine in Wickham Point and has led to a number of people self-harming to prevent their removal to Nauru.

At least two people attempted suicide on Tuesday to try and prevent their removal to Nauru.

Spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul, says Nauru is not safe for asylum seekers or refugees.

Refugees protesting in Nauru

Refugees protesting in Nauru Photo: AFP

He says the Immigration Minister should immediately halt the removals to Nauru, and begin the process of bringing all asylum seekers and refugees to the mainland.