Candlelight Vigil for Reza Berati
Thousands of people have held candlelight vigils around Australia for slain asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died in violence at the Manus Island detention centre last Monday.
A crowd of 5,000 people gathered in Melbourne's Federation Square while 4,000 more rallied at Sydney's town hall, with candles lit for the 23-year-old man.
GetUp national director Sam McLean says, “The truth is we just don't know what's happening in these places, the Government's shut off the lights, taking censorship to an unprecedented level.”
“We need a truly independent inquiry into this tragedy and proper public scrutiny of these places.”
"I think Australians are really turning around on this issue as we see more and more of what is being done in our names and with our taxpayer dollars and on our conscience," he said.
"I think Australians have been really shocked to see somebody who came here seeking our protection, as Reza did as an asylum seeker, to instead meet a very brutal death, and we're also very concerned with the way that all asylum seekers in our care are being treated."
Scott Morrison has continued to mislead the Australian people about what's been going on in Manus Island for a very long time."
But Mr Abbott has praised his Minister's handling of the incident.
"The point I want to make about Scott Morrison is that he is an absolutely outstanding minister. He's doing a great job for our country," he said.
"You don't want a wimp running the border.
"You want someone who is strong, who is decent, and Scott Morrison is both strong and decent."
The protests come days after Mr Berati, 23, was killed and 62 other asylum seekers were injured in violent scenes at the Australian-run immigration detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.
- Paul E Green
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