‘Home to Bilo’, a campaign group dedicated to fighting for the release of the Tamil asylum-seeking Biloela family, has raised funds to erected three billboards urging Australia's Prime Minister to permit the family’s release from the immigration detention on Christmas Island.
The billboards to be placed in Sydney and Brisbane.
Priya and Nades Murugappan who came with separate asylum claims in 2012 and 2013 were detained alongside their daughters Kopica and Tharnicca after their four-year bridging visa expired in March 2018. Priya reported seeing her former husband burnt alive and was raped in the Sri Lankan armed struggle, whilst Nades, who had connections to the LTTE, fears his life will be at risk if he is returned to Sri Lanka.
Despite credible concerns over torture and extra-judicial killings in Sri Lanka, the Department of Home Affairs has repeatedly maintained that the family does not meet the criteria for protected status.
"Home to Bilo's" crowdfunding website was launched on Sunday, a few days prior to the marking of three years since the family was removed 5,000km away from their home in Biloela. Home to Bilo tweeted,
— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) February 28, 2021
“Now, Tharni and Kopi are the only children left in immigration detention in the whole of Australia - and the only kids that guards escort to kindy and primary school,” Home to Biloela stated.
Last month, Australian Federal Court found that the government’s handling of the visa application of the youngest Australian-born daughter of the Tamil family, Tharnicaa, denied her procedural fairness, which prevents the family from being removed from Australia while the legal process remains ongoing. Meanwhile, the family continues residing in detention on Christmas Island.
See the campaign page here.