#Human Rights
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen

The Immigration Department has moved to place new unjustified and arbitrary restrictions on visiting asylum seekers at the residential housing compound of Villawood detention centre.

A number of individuals, including Senator Lee Rhiannon and Refugee Action Coalition's Ian Rintoul, have been barred from visiting or had their visits cut short in recent weeks in a blatant effort to exclude people who are known critics of detention conditions.

The Department is now demanding that 24 hours notice be given of any visit to the Villawood housing compound. This would make it harder to access Villawood and drastically reduce the number of visits to asylum seekers.

Visiting arrangements have also been changed to allow a visitor to only speak to the person named on their visiting form, creating an intolerable and impractical situation that prevents people socially interacting or even having conversations with people they know.

These newly imposed arrangements are an attack on the rights of refugees and visitors alike; creating a distressing situation for refugees, some of whom have been in detention for three years.

These decisions are being made by senior people in the Immigration Department, such as Director of Detentions Operations, Steve Karras, with the knowledge of Minister Chris Bowen.

We the undersigned demand that these new restrictions and bans on visiting Villawood housing be reversed immediately.

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The Drop the restrictions on visits to Villawood petition to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was written by rac_sydney and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.