For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 2 Mar 2014.
The Anglican News Service reports that an estimated 15,000 people took part in candlelight vigils around Australia on 24 February for Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died as a result of violence at the Manus Island detention centre on 17 February.
In commenting on Reza Berati’s death in a media statement on February 20, Bishop Philip Huggins, chair of the Anglican Church’s Migrant and Refugee Working Group, called for a review of the federal government’s policies on asylum seekers.
“A civilised government must be able to control its refugee intake without resort to measures of intentional cruelty,” he said.
“We have previously been a generous nation towards refugees. Refugees’ contributions have, thereafter, enriched our common wealth. Our own history tells us what blessings follow when the spirit and detail of the Refugee Convention is honoured. Conscience cries out for a review of current implementation measures.”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.