Advocates Say Even More Asylum Seekers Have Been Released From Detention & The Timing Is Suss AF

Refugee activists outside the park hotel in melbourne

Advocates have announced up to 20 asylum seekers were released from immigration detention centres across Australia last night. One of these centres was the infamous Park Hotel which detained Novak Djokovic before the Australian Open. The Australian Border Force is yet to comment on the situation.

Guardian Australia reporter Eden Gillespie took to Twitter late last night to relay a message from asylum seeker Hossein Latifi. Latifi had previously been held in detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne’s CBD for nine years.

“An asylum seeker at Park Hotel has just told me he and nine others are expected to be released tonight. That would leave eight men remaining at the detention centre. ABF yet to confirm,” Eden wrote in the Tweet.

Gillespie also noted they’d heard of other asylum seekers being released on Friday evening from several other detention centres.

These included the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) in Broadmeadows, the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in New South Wales and Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) in Queensland.

The news was confirmed by the founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) and absolute hero Kon Karapanagiotidis.

“More refugees to be released from Park Hotel. How many to be confirmed,” Karapanagiotidis wrote.

“In a wk we’ve had the NZ deal, 16,500 places for Afghanistan & Strengthening Character Test bill beaten.

“The power of refugee voices & U. Finally being cruel to refugees will cost you an election.”

Thanush Selvarasa, a refugee activist who has also spent time in Australian immigration detention centres added some of his friends had been released after nearly a decade in detention.

The timing is particularly noteworthy. The Federal Government knows they must call an election sometime soon. It appears they would rather give their critics less to talk about going into what looks to be a hotly contested campaign.

Due to the timing, we can likely conclude the Federal Government didn’t release these people from detention out of the goodness of their hearts. No one’s surprised.

As mentioned by ASRC founder Kon Karapanagiotidis in his tweet “finally, being cruel to refugees will cost you an election”.

The news comes after New Zealand offered to resettle 450 people seeking asylum who were being held in Australian detention centres.