Le centre de rétention de Villawood (Australie) incendié par ses retenus - nuit du 20 au 21 avril

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Australie : Émeutes dans un centre de rétention

 

Une émeute a éclaté, hier, dans le centre de rétention de demandeurs d'asile de Villawood, à l'ouest de Sydney. La protestation a été lancée par deux pensionnaires, furieux du rejet de leur requête d'asile, avant de s'étendre à une centaine d'entre eux, qui ont dévasté et incendié le centre. Ils ont ensuite ralenti le travail des pompiers en les empêchant d'accéder au brasier, rendant nécessaire l'intervention d'un commando antiémeute. Aucun blessé n'était à déplorer hier soir.

 

Les incidents se sont multipliés ces derniers mois en Australie, en raison de l'augmentation du nombre de migrants, souvent en provenance du Sri Lanka, d'Afghanistan ou d'Irak.

 

Leur presse (Libération), 22 avril 2011.

 

 

 

 

Des migrants mettent le feu à un centre de rétention

 

«Les détenus mettent le feu à Villawood», titre le quotidien de Sydney [The Australian] après une nuit d'émeutes dans le centre de rétention de Villawood, dans la banlieue de la capitale. Les demandeurs d'asile ont déclenché les feux et «forcé les gardes à battre en retraite», explique le journal. Neuf bâtiments ont été incendiés et une centaine de personnes auraient pris part aux émeutes, selon les autorités. Plusieurs soulèvements violents ont été recensés récemment dans les centres de rétention australiens, ainsi que des suicides.

 

Leur presse (Courrier International), 21 avril.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australie : nouveaux incidents dans un centre de rétention

 

Une centaine de demandeurs d'asile ont incendié neuf bâtiments du centre de rétention de Villawood, à l'ouest de Sydney, au cours d'une nuit d'émeutes ce mercredi 20 avril 2011. Le gouvernement australien a pour politique de placer en détention les immigrés illégaux pendant l'examen de leur dossier.

 

Pendant cette nuit d'émeute au centre de rétention de Villawood, les demandeurs d'asile en colère ont cette fois-ci incendié plusieurs bâtiments. Pas de morts à dénombrer mais le feu a détruit entre autres une salle d'informatique, une cuisine, une buanderie et l'infirmerie. Les immigrants ont même jeté des tuiles et d'autres objets vers les pompiers venus éteindre l'incendie. Les autorités ont riposté en envoyant sur place des policiers anti-émeute pour aider les pompiers en difficulté. Sandi Logan, porte-parole du département de l'Immigration, a condamné le comportement «épouvantable» des émeutiers. Des incidents se sont déjà produits plusieurs fois récemment dans ce centre de rétention. Deux demandeurs d'asile s'y étaient suicidés l'an passé.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le centre de Christmas Island, autre théâtre d'émeutes

 

Le centre de Christmas Island avait connu lui aussi des émeutes en mars dernier. Plus de 200 demandeurs d'asile avaient détruit le circuit de surveillance interne et allumé un feu. Ils protestaient contre la lenteur des procédures administratives les concernant, ce qui entraînait l'expiration de leur visa et leur retour de fait chez eux.

 

Les immigrants détenus dans les centres de rétention ont tous été interceptés alors qu'ils tentaient d'atteindre illégalement l'Australie par voie maritime, au départ de l'Indonésie principalement. Pour les autorités, les lenteurs administratives dénoncées sont essentiellement dues au fait que ces demandeurs d'asile arrivent délibérément sans document d'identité.

 

En décembre 2010, 48 immigrants irakiens et iraniens avaient trouvé la mort après le naufrage de leur bateau près de l'île Christmas, au nord-ouest de l'Australie. Mais ce lieu de rétention de plusieurs centaines de migrants s'avère à présent trop petit devant le nombre croissant de réfugiés. Ils sont maintenant détenus dans des centres du continent, comme celui de Villawood.

 

Le gouvernement australien ne cède pas

 

Mais le gouvernement veut rester ferme : le 18 janvier 2011, à la suite d'un accord signé avec Kaboul, le ministre australien de l'Immigration Chris Bowen avait déclaré que des centaines de demandeurs d'asile afghans vivant en Australie pourraient être obligés de rentrer chez eux. Les garde-côtes australiens interceptent régulièrement des embarcations d'immigrants. Ils viennent pour la plupart d'Afghanistan et du Sri Lanka et arrivent par bateau. Nombre d'entre eux voient leur demande d'asile rejetée.

 

L'incendie a finalement été circonscrit au centre de rétention de Villawood mais plusieurs demandeurs d'asile demeuraient encore ce jeudi sur les toits brandissant une banderole sur laquelle était écrit : «Nous avons besoin d'aide».

 

Leur presse (Agence Faut Payer), 21 avril.

 

 

 

 

Villawood detainee roof protest continues

 

The three detainees on the roof of Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre could be sleeping on top of the building for a sixth night as negotiations to get them down continue to be unsuccessful.

 

Social Justice Network spokesman Jamal Daoud says because of the way the immigration department is handling the situation, the three men could be on the roof until at least Tuesday morning.

 

Mr Daoud says the protesters were told by negotiators that a representative from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had arrived to talk to them, but they didn't believe it.

 

“It could be that the government just wanted to give them false hope to come down. They did this with the Chinese asylum seekers last year,” Mr Daoud told AAP.

 

A spokeswoman for the Department of Immigration said security company Serco had been handling all the negotiations and no details of the process could be revealed.

 

 

On Monday afternoon, hundreds of refugee supporters gathered outside the detention centre to support the three detainees protesting on the rooftop who have been supplied with water but not food.

 

However, the centre's other detainees were in lockdown, unable to communicate with the crowd.

 

The supporters marched the two kilometres from Chester Hill Railway Station to the detention centre in Sydney's southwest to show their solidarity with those on the other side of the fence.

 

“Freedom!” they chanted, and the cry was returned by the men on the roof.

 

The three men have been protesting since Wednesday.

 

On Wednesday night a riot involving 100 detainees left nine buildings at the centre gutted by fire.

 

Twenty-two of the alleged rioters were taken to Sydney's Silverwater jail.

 

Majid Parhizkar, 24, from Iran, and stateless Kurdish men Mehdi and Amir, whose applications for asylum have been twice rejected, are refusing to come down from the roof.

 

Majid's brother Hadi, 25, has been camping outside the detention centre since Thursday and said he was worried about his brother, who has been without food since the protest began.

 

“It's not good, he's very hungry and they can't resolve the problem,” Hadi told reporters at the scene. “It's dangerous for him and I want (him to come down). We came to Australia together two years ago and I was accepted after six months and Majid has not been and we want to know the reason.”

 

His brother could not go back to Iran because he might be killed for converting to Christianity, Hadi said.

 

Majid felt as if he had nothing to lose and if he came down from the rooftop he might be sent to jail or be deported, he said.

 

The refugee supporters maintained a one-minute silence for Anzac Day, as police and detention centre security guards closely monitored the area.

 

Leur presse (Lema Samandar, AAP), 25 avril.

 

 

Christmas Island detainee sews lips together

 

A male detainee on Christmas Island has been taken to the detention facility's medical centre after sewing his lips together in protest at his treatment over his asylum claim.

 

An immigration spokeswoman confirmed the incident, saying it was “an isolated, one-off incident” and there was no larger protest at the centre.

 

The island's detention centre was the scene of mass break-outs and riots in March, with federal police using tear gas and “bean-bag bullets” to quell rock-throwing rioters who burnt down accommodation tents.

 

At the Curtin Immigration Detention Centre in Western Australia's Kimberley region, a hunger strike continues as part of a protest by detainees that started on Saturday.

 

An immigration spokeswoman said on Monday that 12 people had advised staff they were on hunger strike at the centre, which currently houses 1371 male detainees. She said around 50 to 60 mainly Afghan detainees were engaged in a peaceful protest in an outdoor recreation area, down from around 150 people who joined in on Saturday. “The centre is still calm. The protest is very, very peaceful, they are just sitting around.”

 

But Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition disputed the Immigration Department's numbers, saying more than 100 people, and perhaps as many as 200, were on hunger strike.

 

Yesterday, 16 refugee rights activists were arrested during a protest outside the Curtin centre after obstructing a road. Police issued 15 of them with move-on notices and a juvenile was given a caution.

 

Mr Rintoul said refugee supporters planned to return to the centre on Monday afternoon to stage a further solidarity protest and deliver gifts, Easter eggs and letters to detainees.

 

Leur presse (AAP), 25 avril.

 

 

Protesters push for change on detention rules

 

Scores of protesters have gathered outside the Maribyrnong Detention Centre in Melbourne's north-west this afternoon as part of a nation-wide rally against the treatment of asylum seekers.

 

About 30 Victoria Police officers are patrolling the protest on Hampstead Road, where up to 50 activists have been chanting and rattling the detention centre's cyclone fence.

 

The event, organised by refugee rights advocates, comes as three detainees remain on the roof of Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre.

 

Iranian Majid Parhizkar, 24, and two stateless Kurds, Mehdi and Amir, are showing no sign of coming down from the rooftop six days after a night-time riot left nine buildings at the detention centre gutted by fire.

 

Rallies are taking place at detention centres around Australia today to protest against the federal government's policy of detaining asylum seekers.

 

“The recent unrest in Villawood makes it extremely urgent to show community support for refugees,” Nick Riemer of the Refugee Action Coalition said in a statement. “It's an extraordinary irony that both Labor and Coalition politicians talk of refugees having committed crimes. The damage to property on Wednesday night is nothing compared to the brutalisation of innocent lives caused by mandatory detention itself.”

 

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said extra police had been sent to patrol the Maribyrnong Detention Centre after the end of the Anzac Day march. “It is not out of control or anything like that. They are banging on chain-link fences, but nothing has happened there that is significant,” she said. “It's a planned protest by civil libertarians who disagree with the whole idea of detention centres. Normally they're planned and so police know about them in advance and they work with the organisers to make sure that they get to do their protest but it doesn't interfere with anyone's safety.”

 

The protest is scheduled to run until 3pm. 

 

Leur presse (Megan Levy,
The Sydney Morning Herald), 25 avril.

 


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