Melbourne activists will meet at the State Library of Victoria this weekend to march against the Australian government’s treatment of refugees.

The LGBTIQ group No Pride in Detention will join the Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees this Sunday 25 March.

“Many of the refugees held on Manus and Nauru are LGBTI,” said No Pride in Detention organisers.

“There are approximately 30–40 gay men on Manus.

“Having fled persecution in their home countries they now find themselves languishing in horrific conditions at the hands of Turnbull and Peter Dutton.

“Under the PNG criminal code, gay sex is illegal on Manus Island and punishable by up to 14 years jail; gay refugees live in constant fear of persecution.”

Organisers have called for the LGBTI community to march in solidarity with refugees and to demand reforms.

“Please join us to demand that the policy of offshore detention ceases immediately, that the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru are closed and that all the refugees and asylum seekers be brought here to safety,” they said.

Speakers at the rally will include Tim Costello of World Vision Australia, refugees Abdul Aziz Adam and Taqi Azra, and an interfaith panel of religious leaders.

Lawyer and comedian Corinne Grant will emcee the event.

The rally organisers have accused the Australian government of punishing asylum seekers.

“Many families are separated by our harsh system, and most have no hope of ever being reunited with their loved ones,” they said.

“Now more than ever Australians of goodwill need to stand together and call for justice for refugees.

“We are calling on Australia’s political leaders to abandon the current harsh and unjust policies, and to provide permanent protection for these vulnerable people.”

The march will begin at 2pm this Sunday at the State Library of Victoria, with live music from 1:30pm.

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