Mourning those who have died in detention

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MOURNING: Rae Quigley was among those in Murphy Street yesterday, lighting a candle in memory of one of the 12 lives lost offshore at detention islands Manus and Nauru. PHOTO: Mel Guy

MEMBERS of the North East Victoria Rural Australians for Refugees and Grandmothers gathered in Wangaratta’s main street yesterday with 12 empty chairs and pairs of shoes in memory of the refugees and asylum seekers who have died off the shores of Manus and Nauru islands.

Yesterday marked five years of detention on the two islands for refugees and asylum seekers, with Chris Breen from the Refugee Action Collective saying there had been 12 deaths in that time, for which the Australian Government was responsible.

Speaking outside the electorate office of Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) in Murphy Street, group member Ken Sibley said there is increasing concern and frustration at the ignorance to the situation.

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