Northern Territory Council of Social Service

MEDIA RELEASE: Mercure Hotel must accept responsibility for its role in Detention of the Darwin 15

MERCURE HOTEL MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS ROLE IN DETENTION OF THE DARWIN 15

Today the Northern Territory Council of Social Service (NTCOSS) called for a boycott of the Mercure chain, and in particular the Mercure Darwin Airport Resort, for its role in the detention of 15 asylum seekers.

NTCOSS Chief Executive Officer, Deborah Di Natale, said she had written to the Mercure Darwin General Manager seeking clarification regarding the hotel’s role in the year-long detention of the refugees but received no response.

“It is a difficult economic time, particularly for our tourism and hotel industries, so a call to boycott the Mercure does not come lightly,” said Ms Di Natale.

“But the 15 refugees in Darwin have been locked up for 7 years in Nauru and a further year in Darwin, simply for seeking asylum.

“Children have become adults in detention.

“A year spent in a tiny room, supposedly awaiting medical treatment, is inhumane, and the role played by the Mercure in facilitating and possibly profiting from this must be acknowledged.

“Community detention is an option. Bridging visas are an option. The Minister for Home Affairs has released refugees in both Melbourne and Brisbane. It can be done for those indefinitely detained in Darwin.

“Until the Mercure takes a stand against the cruel detention happening alongside its premises, we must take a stand against the Mercure.”