Detainees in hunger strike at Qld detention centre

About 60 Afghan detainees are on a hunger strike at a far north Queensland detention centre.

An Immigration Department spokeswoman says the detainees are sitting peacefully in an outdoor common area of the Scherger Immigration Detention Centre near Weipa.

Pamela Curr from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre says the detainees began the protest today.

She visited the facility 10 days ago and says the 575 detainees are depressed.

“They’ve been locked away up there, they have no visitors, there’s nothing to do and these are men who’ve spent their whole lives working,” she said.

“They’re worried about their families. They’re worried about their children. Some men broke down when they said ‘how can I eat when my children aren’t eating?'”

The Immigration Department spokeswoman says staff from the department and the detention services provider SERCO are engaging with the detainees and food and water are available.

The spokeswoman says the centre remains calm.

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