Australian clergy call for children to be freed

04 December 2015

AP

Plea to care: the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull (bottom right), addresses Parliament in Canberra, after he was sworn into office, on 15 September

Plea to care: the Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull (bottom right), addresses Parliament in Canberra, after he was sworn into office, ...

THE Australian Primate, Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, has added his name to an open letter from church leaders calling on the Australian Federal Parliament to give children in detention and their families the “Christmas gift of freedom”. They have asked Parliament to arrange the release in the final week of the parliamentary year.

“As faith leaders called to love our neighbour and care for all who are vulnerable, we appeal to you, our political leaders, to do the right thing,” the letter says.

Australia continues to hold more than 2000 people — 113 of them children — in closed detention. This includes 92 children among the 631 asylum-seekers on Nauru.

The letter, organised by (Roman) Catholic Religious Australia, also bears the name of the President of the Uniting Church in Australia — the third largest Christian Church — Stuart McMillan, as well as the President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne.

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