One year since an Iranian asylum seeker was killed at Manus Island, protesters have taken to the skies to demand the controversial detention centre is closed.
Reza Barati, 23 was killed during a violent three-day riot at the detention centre in Papua New Guinea after he was attacked with a wooden pole and had a rock dropped on his head, an inquiry found.
The guard and the Salvation Army employee responsible were arrested in August last year but the trial has not begun.
The violence at the Manus Island detention centre was “eminently foreseeable” according to a Senate committee report. Around 70 asylum seekers were injured in what the government described as a “disturbance”.
The inquiry found a breakdown of security ignited the riots and could have been avoided if better protocols were put in place.
Human rights activist and barrister Julian Burnside is one of many prominent members of Australian society who have asked for those responsible for Mr Barati’s death to face the consequences of their actions.
One year today since Reza Berati was killed on Manus Island. No one has faced court. How long will Aus support cruelty to boat-people?
— Julian Burnside (@JulianBurnside) February 17, 2015
The sky writing comes just days after a damning report by the Human Rights Commission that found a third of children in detention in the first half of 2014 were assessed as having serious mental health disorders.
The 315-page report called for a royal commission into the long-term impacts of detention on children.
The government has dismissed the report, with Abbott labelling it “blatantly partisan politicised exercise”.
The prime minister also said he had no guilt “whatsoever” when detaining children.
“The most compassionate thing you can do is stop the boats. We have stopped the boats,” he said.
The sky writing was organised by three protesters calling themselves the ‘Unaligned Individuals’ who drove a six-day crowd-funding campaign that raised $10,000.
“Close Nauru” was also plastered above Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday afternoon.