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Blog: Visiting Villawood

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

When I heard that another mother had been imprisoned at Villawood with her two children I went out to meet them. I regularly visit this detention centre, in Sydney's western suburbs, and have come to know quite a few of the detainees in there

I find most of my visits to Villawood are distressing, but this time it was especially difficult. There are now three mothers locked up indefinitely with no reason as to why and with a debilitating fear of what the future holds for their children.

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Human rights for asylum seekers

The Greens believe asylum seekers should be welcomed to Australia, not vilified, victimised, or used for political advantage.

Australia needs a whole-of-government approach which acknowledges the extreme circumstances that lead people to seek asylum and gives unconditional support to their welfare.

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Chris Bowen visit puts Labor's self interest before human rights

Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen should use his current visit to Sri Lanka to take up the issue of ongoing human rights abuses, rather than pandering to the Rajapakse government to shore up ongoing co-operation with Australia against people smuggling, says Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"It is a disgrace to learn that ahead of his Sri Lanka visit Minister Bowen praised the Rajapakse government for co-operating with Australia against people smuggling," Senator Rhiannon said.

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A Happy New Year?

I was very touched to receive a Christmas card from the Rahavan family who are languishing indefinitely in Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. You can read about their story here.

I have visited the family a few times now, most recently for the 1st birthday of their youngest son Vaheson who was born in detention.

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Human rights for asylum seekers: public forum in Leichhardt

Lee Rhiannon will be co-hosting a public forum on human rights for asylum seekers along with Member for Balmain Jamie Parker at Leichhardt Town Hall. Prominent barrister Julian Burnside QC will also be speaking.

When: Tuesday 1 November, 7:30pm
Where: Italian Forum Cultural Centre, 23 Norton Street Leichhardt

For more information contact Senator Rhiannon's office by calling 02 9241 6966 or emailing senator.rhiannon@aph.gov.au.

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Detention – no place for a one year old

Blog post by Senator Lee Rhiannon

Balloons and streamers bobbing in the wind showed us the way to the birthday house. These days this is not an unusual weekend sight in suburban Sydney. The Villawood home of the Ragavan family may look like a regular suburban house but it is effectively a prison, behind massive wire fences and heavy security checks.

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