MORE than 20 locals from around the Bermagui, Tilba, Cobargo and Narooma areas came out for a snap candlelight vigil for refugees on Sunday night, joining thousands in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.
The candlelight vigil in Tilba Tilba was organised by Stuart Absalom, who said, “I organised it to remember Reza Berati, an Iranian asylum seeker who died this week on Manus Island, and all those who have suffered at the hands of our immigration system.”
The vigil was held at Open Sanctuary, a special place at Tilba Tilba, where those present lit candles in silence in honour of Reza Berati, and all those who are suffering on Manus Island.
“It’s high time people fleeing persecution got a fair go in Australia.”
GetUp coordinated the snap vigils with groups including Amnesty International, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, First Home Project, the Refugee Action Coalition and Welcome to Australia.
GetUp’s national director Sam Mclean said, “Across the country, people lit candles on Sunday night for those who’ve lost their lives and suffered in our care.”
“The truth is we just don’t know what’s happening in these detention centres, the Government’s effectively shut off the lights, taking censorship to an unprecedented level,” he said.
“It's past time to switch those lights back on - we need a truly independent inquiry into this tragedy and proper public scrutiny of these places,” GetUp’s Sam Mclean said.