Sinhalese Asylum Seekers Launch A Hunger Strike In Australia

Eleven of the 21 Sinhalese Sri Lankan asylum seekers at Curtin detention centre have begun a hunger strike.

The hunger strike was launched in protest of the long delays in the processing of the refugee claims. Thirteen out of the twenty one Sinhalese at the Curtin detention centre have reportedly been in the center for over two years.

Ian Rintoul a spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition said “The shocking bureaucratic delays in processing are one of the lesser known injustices of mandatory detention.”

The authorities have failed to provide an explanation as to why the process has taken such a long time and the delay in taking proper measures to ensure the safety of asylum seekers who have been recognized as refugees.

The Secretary of the Immigration Department of Australia, Martin Bowles while testifying at the Human Rights Commission inquiry has admitted that the link between prolonged detention and mental illness was an issue.

The Refugee Action Coalition has called a protest at the Sydney Immigration Department offices to highlight the apprehension of the 157 asylum seekers taken to Nauru.