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Six asylum seekers have been offered bridging visas and will be released from detention

Speaking with SBS News as he packed his bags, one asylum seeker at Park Hotel said he would be transferred to Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation before being freed.

“It’s very cruel that we are only five released and the others stay here,” he said.

The releases come after three asylum seekers were released from Park Hotel and one from Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation last month.

Now, just 36 asylum seekers and refugees will remain in the Park Hotel detention centre.

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Mustafa Salah and his father, Salah Mustafa, have spent more than eight years in detention and are currently locked up in Park Hotel.

Now 23, Mr Salah has been detained by the Australian government since he was just 14 years old.

He said he was “excited” his friends would be released but felt devastated that neither he nor his father had been offered bridging visas.

Mustafa Salah was 14 years old (left) when he first entered immigration detention. He's now 23 (right).

Source: Supplied


“I’m so happy for them but my dad and I, we’re still here. I don’t know why we’re still here,” he told SBS News.

“Everyone is sad and happy at the same time because it’s not a big number of people that they released.

“People have already lost hope but we’re still waiting.”

A Final Departure Bridging Visa E allows the holder to live in Australia while they make arrangements to leave the country.

Refugees and asylum seekers in Melbourne's Park Hotel on Sunday said they are concerned about the response of Serco and the ABF.

Source: Refugee Action Collective


A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said it did not comment on individual cases, but added support is provided to individuals who are released from immigration detention.

“Individuals released from immigration detention are provided transitional support through the Status Resolution Support Services program including case worker support, accommodation and financial assistance,” the spokesperson said.

They added the federal government’s policies had not changed and asylum seekers who arrived by boat “will not be settled in Australia.”



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