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News Brief

April 2, 2002
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More than 600 Australian Jews marched in favor of imprisoned asylum-seekers seeking refuge in their country. Some of the demonstrators Sunday at Melbourne’s Maribyrnong Detention Center held matzah in the air and sang Passover songs to symbolize freedom. The Australian government often incarcerates asylum-seekers in extremely remote parts of the country, where many wait up to three years for entry visas or deportation. A group known as Jews for Refugees was established to support a more humane method of holding those seeking political asylum while their applications are processed. “We know nearly all the asylum-seekers are Muslim, and we spoke to them through the fence and let them know we were Jewish,” protest organizer David Zyngier said. “Their response was very warm. As Jews we should know better than anyone what it is like to be rejected and denied entry when escaping tyrannical regimes.”

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