Refugee activists, friends and family will be gathering at Broadmeadows Magistrates Court to stand in solidarity with a refugee right activist charged with trying to stop the government carrying out a cruel and inhuman deportation.
Earlier this year, the government attempted to deport a 60 year old stateless refugee to Iraq. His brother had arrived on the same boat and was found to be a refugee but Saeed’s (not his real name) application for asylum was rejected and he was detained under Australia’s horrific refugee policy.
Hearing that Saeed may be deported, activists held a blockade at the Broadmeadows Detention Centre, checking cars exiting the facility for Saeed. Several staff involved in the detention of refugees chose to lash out at these protesters by driving through the picket line.
James Crafti, a member of the Refugee Action Collective, was among the protesters attacked by the vehicles. However, rather than arrest detention centre staff for endangering peoples’ lives by running over protesters as well as deporting people to danger, Victoria Police chose to arrest James instead, accusing him of damaging the vehicles that drove into him.
The protesters were successful in delaying Saeed’s deportation for several months however he has now been deported to Iraq despite the Iraqi embassy issuing a statement in opposition to the deportation.
James is contesting the charges which carry up to a decade worth of jail time. He remains defiant, saying: “The crime being committed is by our government deporting people to danger.”
James Crafti, Liz Walsh