Margaret River to take part in Refugee Week action

Rod Whittle & Bill Bunbury

Rod Whittle & Bill Bunbury

Amnesty International's Margaret River chapter will be involving the community in several human rights actions during Refugee Week later this month, including an online 'virtual' interview with Manus Island detainee and award winning writer Behrouz Boochani and historian Bill Bunbury.

Amnesty Margaret River will also be collecting signatures on a petition to the Federal Government to permanently close the offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru and resettle the asylum seekers in safe countries, including Australia. This activity will include a stall in the town centre on the morning of Saturday 22 June.

Group spokesperson Rod Whittle said there were still more than 900 asylum seekers in Australia's offshore detention system.

"Australia continues to pay Papua New Guinea and Nauru to house asylum seekers in conditions that have been plagued by revelations of physical violence, murder, sexual abuse, allegations of torture by guards, medical neglect leading to death, and catastrophic rates of mental health decline, self-harm, and suicide attempts," he said.

"What's needed for a permanent and fair arrangement is the implementation of a regional solution with Indonesia and Malaysia which would humanely address the asylum seeker situation while circumventing the need for unsafe boat journeys to Australia.

"As Mr Boochani so graphically describes in his writing, the situation for detainees remains as bad as ever, and is an ongoing disgrace for Australia."

The interview with Behrouz Boochani is at Margaret River HEART on Thursday 20 June from 5.30pm.

The $25 entry includes a glass of wine and a 'mini Manus meal'. Bookings can be made at www.artsmargaretriver.com or call 9758 7316.