• A protester is escorted outside by police (Kate Ausburn)
A number of people have been arrested after holding a prayer vigil in protest against the government's asylum seeker policy outside the Sydney office of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
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21 Mar 2014 - 2:30 PM  UPDATED 22 Mar 2014 - 12:38 PM

UPDATE: Five protesters have been charged with trespassing and will appear in Sutherland Local Court on April 10. 

The group of nine protesters had been holding the vigil in reaction to what they described as Australia’s 'cruel treatment' of asylum seekers.

Participant Matt Anslow told SBS that five people had been arrested and were being taken to Miranda police station.

He said his group did not know the charges they were facing, but had been told they could be charged with trespass.

Listen: Interview with Matt Anslow


Mr Anslow said the protest was not intended to target Mr Morrision in a negative way.

“We were praying also for Mr Morrison, not in a way that was condemning or judgemental," he said.

"We were actually praying that Mr Morrison might have a change of heart. In his maiden speech for Federal Parliament, Mr Morrison gave a really amazing outline of his vision that included justice and compassion for vulnerable people… For us, we were hoping Mr Morrision might have a change of heart and join us.”

A spokesperson from NSW Police confirmed arrests had been made, but could not provide the number of people or charges.

She said police had been at the demonstration since 1.30pm.

Earlier, another participant Kate Ausburn told SBS that the group were in danger of being arrested.

“Police have instructed the group to leave,” she said.

She earlier said the group had remained on site, while police spoke with office staff.