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Australia Medevac refugees freed from Vic hotel

06:51  20 january  2021
06:51  20 january  2021 Source:   aap.com.au

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Five refugees brought to Australia under the now-repealed medevac law have been released from Many of the refugees brought to Australia under the medevac provisions have been held in He spent nine months detained at the alternative place of detention at Melbourne's Mantra hotel , before being

Five refugees brought to Australia under the now-repealed medevac law have been released from Many of the refugees brought to Australia under the medevac provisions have been held in He spent nine months detained at the alternative place of detention at Melbourne's Mantra hotel , before being


a man sitting on a bench in front of a sign: More than 20 refugees held in a Melbourne hotel for months are being released. © Erik Anderson/AAP PHOTOS More than 20 refugees held in a Melbourne hotel for months are being released.

More than 20 refugees held in a Melbourne hotel for months after being transferred from offshore detention are being released, detainees and refugee advocates say.

At least 23 men were told on Wednesday morning they would receive bridging visas and be released from the Park Hotel in Carlton. 

Still more were expected to depart the Melbourne Immigration Detention Accommodation (MITA) centre at Broadmeadows.  

Kurdish refugee Mostafa Azimitabar, who is held at the hotel, tweeted just before 11am: "Breaking: Twenty six refugees who were locked up in the Park prison have got their Bridging Visa right now. Congratulations!!!" 

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A Brisbane hotel room where a refugee is being held while waiting for specialist medical treatment. She is allowed to sit outside only with Serco guards present. A reminder she is not free in this Bed bug eggs in a room at the Brisbane hotel where refugees requiring medical treatment are being held.

In August 2017, 26-year-old refugee Hamed set himself alight outside an Australian-run detention camp on the small island of Nauru. Community detention is one option, but sick refugees in Australia for treatment need a minister in the home affairs portfolio to personally intervene before they can be

Abdollah Sheikhi Pirkohi, another refugee detained in the hotel, confirmed to AAP the men had been taken to MITA to collect their possessions ahead of release. 

Around 35 men are still detained at the hotel, he said.

The Melbourne hotel and another in Brisbane were designated as alternative places of detention by the federal government. 

The men held in them were brought to Australia for medical treatment under the now-repealed 'medevac' legislation. Many have been in detention for over a year, some up to 18 months. 

The hotels have been the centre of fierce protests during the past year. 

Lawyer Noeline Harendran, of Sydney West Legal, believes the releases stem from habeas corpus cases she and colleague Daniel Taylor have filed on behalf of the men in federal courts.

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The medevac law allowed for doctors to evacuate ill people to Australia for urgent medical treatment. The government said as a result of the medevac law, 135 refugees were brought to the mainland for treatment this year. It argued the law had been a "border protection" risk and was a

Watch this video to see the BS that the Australian government is talking in trying to repeal the Medevac legislation. Medevac allows doctors some say in

The pair have lodged over 100 cases on behalf of the detained medevac refugees, arguing no purpose to their detention.

Seven of their clients were released in December.

Many but not all the men released on Wednesday had similar pending cases, with court dates in February, Ms Harendran said. "We've been working day and night, no Christmas, no new year."

Personally, she said hearing of the releases was "on the same level" as having babies and getting married. 

Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul told AAP he understood 45 refugees and asylum seekers were being released in Melbourne on Wednesday, including a number from MITA. 

He described it as the biggest development in the story of offshore processing since the Kids Off Nauru campaign in 2018 and "quite a breakthrough". 

Greens senator Nick McKim, who has visited some of the men in Melbourne, told AAP he was ecstatic. 

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Australian Labor Party Deputy President Sue Lines speaking on refugee medical transfers. Official Recording of Senate Proceedings from the Australian

Kangaroo Point Central Hotel where 105 refugee men are in Covid 19 lockdown and their eighth year of immigration imprisonment. Please contact me as I offer free online presentations on the history of offshore processing, Medevac and detention or immigration, interviews, questions or know anyone

"Just to think that these guys, no matter whether they're from Manus or Nauru ... they've been brutalised and imprisoned for well over seven years now and to think they'll be breathing free air for the first time, it's quite emotional." 

McKim called for the remaining detainees to be released with support, permanent protection visas and the pathway to citizenship. 

The medevac law, repealed in December 2019, allowed independent doctors to recommend the transfer of people held in Nauru and Papua New Guinea to Australia for medical purposes.

Many have been held in detention since arrival, while refugees transferred under other provisions have been released.

Meanwhile, 18 refugees were flown from Nauru to Australia on Monday and are quarantining for 14 days at Sydney's Villawood detention centre, detainees and advocates said. 

The number of refugees still held offshore is now below 270. 

The Department of Home Affairs told AAP in a statement: "The Australian Government's policy is clear that no one who attempts illegal maritime travel to Australia will be permanently settled here."

It said people held in the hotels were only brought to Australia temporarily for medical treatment and should finalise their medical treatment and go to the United States, Nauru or PNG, or their home country. 

The government has not returned anybody to offshore detention in years, despite some refugees' requests.

A number have been rejected from resettlement in the United States and are unable able to return to their home countries. 

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This is interesting!