More than 90 people attended a snap candlelight vigil for refugees in Wollongong on Sunday night.
Wollongong event organisers Clementina Velasco and Cristina Sacco said the vigil was organised to remember Reza Barati, an Iranian asylum seeker who recently died on Manus Island, and all those who have suffered at the hands of the immigration system.
‘‘Over 90 people showed up at North Beach on Sunday night to show their compassion and stand up for what is right,’’ Ms Velasco said.
Smaller vigils were also held in Wollongong CBD, Warrawong, and in homes across our region.
‘‘What we know about what is happening on Manus Island is extremely concerning, and with the government’s media censorship and complete lack of transparency, we’re equally concerned about the stories that we’re not hearing,’’ Ms Velasco said.
‘‘Our thoughts are with the asylum seekers in the Manus Island Detention Centre, and we will continue to fight for their release.
‘‘We hope that the tragic death of Reza Berati will bring into light the atrocities that are being carried out in the name of border protection, and that people will start to join us in saying, ‘Not in our name’”, Ms Sacco said.
‘‘It’s high time people fleeing persecution got a fair go in Australia.”
GetUp coordinated the snap vigils with groups including Amnesty International, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, First Home Project, the Refugee Action Coalition and Welcome to Australia.