21 Sep 2010

Protest in detention in Australia continues following death of a Fiji man

9:54 am on 21 September 2010

A protest on the roof of Sydney's Villawood detention centre in Australia, sparked by the suspected suicide of a Fijian asylum seeker yesterday morning, has now been going on for more than 12 hours.

The immigration department says the Fijian man had been detained at the centre since August the 17th and was due to be deported yesterday.

Eleven men are currently on the roof demanding an independent review of their applications for asylum.

They say they wont come down until the department of immigration agrees to reassess their applications.

The human rights department says the protesters are safe and well, but human rights activist Sarah Nathan, who is in contact with the group, says she is worried for their welfare.

"They are very frustrated because many of them who have scares from being tortured in Sri Lanka have had their cases there rejected and they are facing deportation, and they say they would rather die rather than go back to Sri Lanka and face torture."

Human rights activist Sarah Nathan.