Protesters demand release of asylum seekers after seven years of offshore detention

A protest against the detainment of more than 100 asylum seekers in a Brisbane hotel has caused a major disruption to traffic heading to the CBD.

Protesters gather to support asylum seekers detained at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel in Brisbane.

Protesters gather to support asylum seekers detained at the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel in Brisbane. Source: AAP

Hundreds of protesters have staged a sit-in on one of Brisbane's busiest arterial roads in support of the release of more than 100 asylum seekers holed up in a Kangaroo Point hotel.

It coincided with the seven-year anniversary since the Australian Government, under Labor, introduced offshore processing for asylum seekers.

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The rally, organised by Refugee Solidarity Brisbane/Meanjin, was held outside the Kangaroo Point Central Hotel where about 120 men are being detained.

Some have been confined to the hotel for a year but have notched seven years in detention overall.

After about an hour, the rally moved into a side street where a band played and the crowd chanted "free the refugees".

Hundreds of protesters gathered at the hotel on Sunday.
Hundreds of protesters gathered at the hotel on Sunday. Source: AAP


The detainees stood on the balconies of the hotel to watch the proceedings.

Messages of love and empathy - as well as calls for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to be ditched - were scrawled on the road where the protesters sat, some with their wrists crossed in the air.

A number of speakers took to a makeshift podium to call for the men being released, even calling the Labor party "torturers" with "blood on their hands".

One of the placards at the protest.
One of the placards at the protest. Source: AAP


Protesters are demanding community release for the men who were brought to Australia for medical treatment from offshore detention under medevac orders.

The hotel has seen a succession of protests that have ramped up in the past few weeks.

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has previously said the men came out under Labor's medevac laws and those determined to be refugees could resettle outside of Australia.


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2 min read
Published 19 July 2020 at 8:48pm
Source: AAP, SBS