Protesters blockade Melb detention centre

Liz HobdayAAP
Protesters scuffled with police as they try to blockade a Melbourne immigration detention centre.
Camera IconProtesters scuffled with police as they try to blockade a Melbourne immigration detention centre. Credit: AAP

Protesters have clashed with police outside an immigration detention centre in Melbourne.

Asylum seeker advocates say detainees at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation in Broadmeadows are being forcibly moved to an undisclosed location, which they believe is Christmas Island.

A small group of about 30 protesters tried to block the entrance to the centre on Tuesday afternoon and scuffles with police have broken out, but there have been no arrests so far.

"There will be a highly visible police presence in the area to prevent breaches of the peace and to ensure community safety," Victoria Police told AAP in a statement.

Jana Favero from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said there was a lack of transparency around forced attempts to remove asylum seekers from the mainland.

"This is a very active move from a government in caretaker mode and is cruelty for cruelty's sake," she said.

Immigration authorities began to send detainees to Christmas Island's North West Point detention centre again in August 2020.

More than 200 people are being held on Christmas Island, according to the ASRC, and more than 90 of them have had protection, refugee or humanitarian visas cancelled.

The Department of Home Affairs has also been contacted for comment.

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