Release of 15 more refugees in Melbourne welcome, but Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton must release all remaining detained

Two female protesters holding signs reading 'I welcome refugees' and 'freedom' in Melbourne CBD

The release of 15 more refugees from the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) detention centre in January is welcome news, particularly following the release of 46 people also in January and the one man resettled in the U.S. on 28 January from the Park Hotel.

However, the Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton has yet to explain why so many more continue to be incarcerated across Australia, or when they will be released.

People are experiencing high levels of distress and are at high mental health risk due to the arbitrary nature of the Minister releasing small, select groups of people at a time, without any transparency or information.

Caseworkers, lawyers and community advocates are especially concerned about the mental health of 11 people left behind at the Park Hotel, due to intense uncertainty of their impending release.

There is no adequate emergency medical support or oversight into mental health care at any of the detention facilities to help protect lives.

Around 150 women and men who were transferred from Offshore Processing remain in a network of detention facilities across Australia.

Approximately:

Melbourne: 11 in the Park Hotel, 30 at MITA,
Brisbane: 30 at BITA, 85 at the Kangaroo Point Hotel
Darwin: 15 at the Mercure Hotel
Sydney: 3 at Villawood.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), Rural Australians for Refugees, Amnesty International, Independent Doctors Network, RACS and Human Rights Law Centre are among 136 groups and organisations in the Time for a Home alliance, calling on the Morrison Government to urgently release and resettle people transferred to Australia from offshore processing.

Source: Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

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