Over 16,770 people sign open letter in show of solidarity

At a time when the Australian government is receiving international condemnation for their ongoing violation of human rights of people seeking asylum, a beacon of hope and solidarity has emerged from the Australian public as thousands speak out in support of the ASRC’s recent Human Rights Day campaign.

While we continue to fiercely advocate and campaign for the immediate evacuation of Manus Island, we are also constantly fighting and advocating for the thousands of men, women and children currently in detention in Australian detention centres and offshore prison camps in Nauru.

In early December the ASRC launched an appeal urging the public to sign an open letter penned by ASRC Founder & CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis to send a message of hope and solidarity to the thousands of people seeking asylum and refugees who will be spending yet another holiday season incarcerated at the hands of the Australian government.

Part of the ASRC's open letter

Part of the ASRC’s open letter to people seeking asylum currently in detention

The response has been overwhelming to say the least. A staggering 16,772 people added their names to the open letter, with many offering a donation and personalised message in a show of love and support.

While we see every single day the generous love, compassion and advocacy the community brings to our mission, we have been overwhelmed with the incredible outpouring of support across social media from members of the public, media and a plethora of Australian celebrities who got behind the campaign.

Message to people seeking asylum in detention

Personal messages from ASRC donors to people seeking asylum in detention


Message to people seeking asylum in detention

Personal messages to detainees from donors

Everyday we received messages of support and encouragement, among them was a beautiful email from Shirley Clymer who at 91 continues to do everything she can to fight for human rights.

“This whole situation breaks my heart & I would like to sign the letter too, please.


I am 91 & not very computer literate. Please could you let me know how I can sign?


My sympathy is with all refugees & asylum seekers. The world seems to be going crazy with cruelty & inhumane treatment of innocent people. I expect our “fair” land, Australia, to be setting a much better example of compassion & acceptance than it is these days,.whichever Party is in power.


What else can I do? I sign every possible petition & bother politicians with emails & phone calls etc.


Yours Sincerely,

Shirley Clymer”

Alongside the online campaign, Melbourne CBD came alight with stunning projections in the lead up to Human Rights Day as the campaign came to it’s peak on Sunday, 10 December. 

ASRC projections light up Melbourne's CBD

Black and white video projections light up Melbourne’s CBD

Images projected onto Richmond's Nylex Pillars

Images projected onto Richmond’s Nylex Pillars promoted the Open Letter

The open letter along with it’s 16,772 signatures and accompanying messages have packaged up by a hardworking team of  ASRC staff and volunteers to be sent off and delivered to people seeking asylum in Manus Island, Nauru and detention centres across Australia.

ASRC Open Letter package to people seeking asylum in detention

The open letter will be sent to people seeking asylum on Manus Island and in detention centres across Australia along with the names of all signatories and personal messages.

Our deepest thanks go out to all the volunteers, media, suppliers and the public who have extended their skills, time and effort to support the huge success of the campaign. Thanks to you, thousands of men, women and children who are living in horrendous conditions in detention have been reminded that they are not alone, they are not forgotten, and we will continue to stand in solidarity and fight for their freedom and fair process.

While the open letter has now come to a close, we continue to campaign for an end to mandatory detention and provide essential humanitarian aid and services to people seeking asylum.

Your donations help this movement in the fight for freedom for those still in detention as well as those on our shores.

Donate now

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