Protesters disrupt Australian parliament

Protesters demanding an end to Australia's policy of detaining asylum seekers on remote South Pacific islands have targeted the Australian parliament for a second day, bypassing security to abseil above the main entrance of the house in Canberra.

The protesters stood in the pond in front the parliament holding placards while two protesters abseiled, unfurling a banner reading: "Close the bloody camps now. #justice4refugees".

"The actions match the urgency of the matter, this is a humanitarian crisis. Right now, mums, dads, kids, people just like people who are viewing this right now, are being raped, murdered and tortured and our entire parliament is completely complicit in that," said one unidentified protester.

Yesterday, about 30 protesters clashed with security guards in parliament, some gluing themselves to handrails and shouting "close the camps", in a rowdy demonstration against the detention of asylum seekers in the remote Pacific camps.

Under Australia's tough border security policy, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at the camps on Papua New Guinea's Manus island and Nauru in the South Pacific.

Both major Australian political parties support the offshore detention policy, which has won elections, despite widespread criticism by the United Nations and human rights groups which say the detention amounts to abuse.

Many of asylum seekers at the camps are Muslims who have fled conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.


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