Australian Border Force is banning the use and possession of mobile phones in Australian detention centres.

The ban is currently being phased in and a complete ban is scheduled by February 2017. See New measures to combat illegal activity within immigration detention facilities

BMRSG has a petition Let Them Connect on the communityrun website which is sponsored by GetUp!. If you haven’t already signed please sign here:
Let Them Connect

Mobile phones are a life-line for asylum seekers to connect and stay in touch with their family, friends and legal representatives. The government says its reason for this ban is “an increasing number of individuals with extensive criminal histories,” (known as 501’s) who are being placed in Immigration Detention Centres while awaiting deportation. For some time refugee advocates have been campaigning against holding asylum seekers and refugees with criminals.

Asylum seekers should not be held with criminals. They haven’t committed a crime and it is they who will suffer most from Minister Dutton’s decree.

As well as signing the petition you can also email the Minister on Peter Dutton or phone his office on ( 02) 6277 7860. You will not get to speak to him but just need to say in one sentence what you are concerned about and it will be noted and passed on.

You can cut and paste the letter below into the emails given. Start with Peter Dutton and the shadow minister Shayne Neumann.
Change the wording to fit the politician! For more politician’s details go to
Australian Government website
The letter to Peter Dutton is given as an example

Dear Honourable Minister for Immigration and Border Security
I write to ask you to to end the ban on mobile phones for Asylum Seekers in Immigration Detention Centres and to order that Asylum Seekers be separated from overseas immigrants who have been charged with crimes. Advocates for refugees have been asking for Asylum Seekers to be kept separate for some time now

I am concerned at the effect on the mental health of Asylum Seekers currently in detention of this new rule banning mobile phones. The phone is the only link many have to the outside world and their families. Many have been locked up for years with no idea when they will be released. Punishing Asylum Seekers for using their international legal right to seek safety is cruel and inhumane.

I look forward to your reply

Yours sincerely
Your name

Politician’s emails

Peter Dutton Minister for Immigration and Border Security
email :Peter Dutton
Tel: (02) 6277 7860

Shayne Neumann, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
email: Shayne Neumann
Tel: (02) 6277 4755

Susan Templeman, Member for Macquarie
Tel : (02) 4573 8222,

Malcolm Turnbull Prime Minister of Australia –paste into your browser
Tel: (02) 6277 7700

Bill Shorten MP Labor, Leader of the Opposition
Tel: (02) 6277 4022

Senator Nick Xenophon
Phone (08) 8232 1144

For more on writing to politicians go to Writing Letters on this website.
The letter writing category on our website has sample letters.

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