Friends Of Dead Refugee Omid Join Melbourne Offshore Detention Protest

Friends of Omid, the man who died after setting himself alight while detained at the Nauru Detention Centre, joined hundreds of protesters in Melbourne to call for the closure of Australia’s offshore detention facilities this afternoon.

ABC reports Iranian asylum seekers named Saeed and Max met Omid on Nauru in 2013; since then, Saeed has been placed in community detention, and Max obtained a bridging visa.

The pair said they “came here because of him and Reza Barati. 

Too many people … live on Nauru and Manus and they are too upset.”

Before his death, Omid gave another voice to those sentiments, saying “this is how tired we are, this action will prove how exhausted we are. I cannot take it anymore.”  

Saeed described Omid as “a very quiet man, a very good man.” 

I’m very sad for Omid’s family and wife, my friends in Manus and Nauru.

There are a lot of good people on Nauru and Manus — they are human, you know?”
Of course, Omid’s death tragically coincides with the continuing legal stoush between Australia and Papua New Guinea over the status of 850+ detainees, including hundreds of confirmed refugees, currently placed on Manus Island. 

There is still no obvious roadmap for where they’ll be placed and when they’ll be moved. Today’s protest serves as another reminder that, against the government’s hardline stance, we could actually house those refugees here. 


A photo posted by eddiehausen (@eddiehausen) on

#bringthemhere Our government has blood on their hands. It’s time to #closethecamps

A photo posted by @geenalhardy on

It’s worth noting that the demonstrations here come after public mourning and protests on Nauru, too. 

We’ll let you know when the Immigration Department announces their plans for those detainees.