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Free the Park Hotel prisoners

Ellen speaking at a protest outside the Park Hotel in Carlton.
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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
1 November 2021

The treatment of the asylum seekers being held inside the Park Hotel is unfathomably cruel.

After 8 years in detention, these people are now facing yet another struggle - against COVID-19.

I asked the Victorian Government to advocate to release these people from this hotel prison immediately.

Here is the question I put to the Premier: 

"As the rest of Victoria celebrated the end of lockdown over the weekend, 46 refugees were still locked up with no end in sight in small rooms in the Park Hotel prison in Carlton in my electorate.

Now, many of these men—we believe 21—have also become infected with COVID-19. At least one man is in hospital and extremely sick. There have been reports that ambulances were blocked by security, that people with COVID symptoms were just given Panadol and not placed in isolation or tested for COVID and that vaccines were not even offered until August, well after many others in high-risk settings, when we know how quickly COVID spreads in high-rise buildings.

This again shows the horror of locking up innocent refugees indefinitely with no access to fresh air and no idea when they are going to be free. 

My question is: will the Victorian government urgently advocate in the strongest possible terms to release these people from this hotel prison immediately?"

I look forward to a timely response from the Premier.

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Ellen Sandell
State MP for Melbourne
1 November 2021
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