Bishop Long: Brisbane refugee situation ‘deplorable’

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. (Parramatta Diocese)

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. has called for an end to the “deplorable” situation facing refugees and asylum-seekers in the heart of Brisbane. Source: The Catholic Leader.

Bishop Long, the Parramatta bishop who chairs the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Social Justice, was responding to reports that the health and wellbeing of men detained at a Kangaroo Point hotel continues to deteriorate.

Brisbane refugee advocate Rebecca Lim, who is in constant contact with the men, said “the situation for the people in Kangaroo Point is really, really dire and we just don’t know what to do anymore”.

The men were transferred from Papua New Guinea for medical treatment under the Commonwealth Government’s former Medevac legislation, and some have been detained at Kangaroo Point for up to 18 months.

Bishop Long said reports about the wellbeing of the refugees and asylum-seekers were “extremely concerning”.

“They are now living in more restricted conditions than existed on Nauru,” he said.

“Because of the coronavirus lockdown, all in-person visits have been banned. As a result, they are extremely distressed and one of them (was recently) under suicide watch after attempting self-harm.

“I call on the (federal) Government to reconsider the ban on in-person visits and to prioritise the mental health and well-being of asylum-seekers in detention.

“Furthermore, it is time that the Government and political leaders acted in accordance with our honourable tradition and put an end to this deplorable situation of protracted and indefinite detention.”

FULL STORY

Parramatta bishop says Kangaroo Point situation ‘deplorable’ (The Catholic Leader

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