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Sign the open letter

A group of concerned organisations and individuals – including legal and health professional, faith leaders and academics – have penned an open letter accusing the Government of wilfully and deliberately pursuing a policy known to cause severe mental and physical health problems.

The open letter, convened by Professor Louise Newman AM, is addressed to the Federal Government and the Opposition, calling on them to:

  • abandon the policy of mandatory detention,
  • cap detention at a maximum of 30 days, and
  • adopt alternative solutions that are consistent with the Refugee Convention.
Will you add your name to the list of people calling for an end to indefinite mandatory detention?

The list of prominent signatories include doctors and health professionals, who say the current policy of indefinite mandatory detention makes it nearly impossible for them to adhere their oath to "First Do No Harm".

The open letter is partly in response to the ongoing human rights inquiry into children in detention, where it was revealed by a doctor that medication is often confiscated from newly arrived asylum seekers.

The inquiry was told that no medication was available when a three-year-old girl, who suffered from epilepsy, began to have seizures. While medication was ordered from the mainland, her seizures returned once it ran out.1

Add your name today. Sign the open letter.

"J'accuse!" was an open letter published on 13 January 1898 in the newspaper L'Aurore by Émile Zola.

In the letter, Zola addressed President of France Félix Faure and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer who was sentenced to lifelong penal servitude for espionage.

The letter was printed on the front page of the newspaper and caused a stir in France and abroad.

J'accuse! has now become known as an expression of outrage and accusation against someone powerful.


Disclaimer: the open letter has been convened by Professor Louise Newman AM, and is not an initiative of GetUp. However, as a movement of people, who stand for a fair and compassionate Australia, GetUp is a signatory to the letter and supports Professor Newman in calling for an end to indefinite mandatory detention.



[1] Christmas Island detainees stripped of basic medication, inquiry told, The Guardian Australia, 31 July 2014

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Click here to read the J'accuse open letter

Please note: by signing onto this open letter, you give permission for GetUp to pass on your details to Professor Newman, for the purpose of recording the names of those who have signed. GetUp will not provide your contact details (i.e. email address or phone number) without your permission.

However, Professor Newman may wish to contact you via GetUp with further information regarding the open letter.


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74,832 signatures

We need 5,168 more