[ View the story "Australians gather to #LightTheDark" on Storify] Australians gather to #LightTheDark Nation-wide vigils held after asylum seeker's death to demand greater transparency on immigration.
The Stream· Mon, Feb 24 2014 11:48:07
Reza Berati was imprisoned and killed after trying to find refuge on Australian soil. Enough is enough. We need to do better. #lightthedarkTim Christodoulou
Our PM just measured our Immigration Minister's courage by his ability to maintain cruelty towards asylum seekers. Time to #LightTheDark.Brad Chilcott
Australians shared images of the vigils in major cities.
It’s 10:54am in Stuttgart, but I’ve lit the candles for #RezaBarati. Hopefully out of his senseless death will come a change. #lightthedarkMike Stuchbery
Amazing what we can do when we come together Australia! Compassion will win! #refugees #LighttheDark @GetUp
So proud to be amongst a sea of compassionate, decent and rational people who won't stand for cruelty, ignorance and hate towards asylum seekers. #LightTheDarkbicycle_belle
One user shared a note on her parents' experience as "boat people" coming from Vietnam and commented on their stories of Australians' generosity.
Not sure about the safety implications of me trying to light a candle in the @fbiradio studio at 8pm, so here's a fire-hazard-averting contribution to #lightthedark tonight. I feel lucky & grateful that my parents happened to come to Australia when there was bipartisan support for refugees; and the cruel luck of political timing should not be the reason why today's asylum seekers endure punishment instead of protection and opportunity.instagram.com
Australia you did us proud last night! 750 Vigils to #LightTheDark for #asylum seekers. This is our true spirit, one of compassion & welcomeASRC
#LightTheDark may be over, but the battle is just beginning. We demand a humanitarian response now. This is not my Australia! #auspoIWe require change
Critics of Australia's controversial immigration policies also expressed their demands and concerns.
I think ordinary Australians made their views clear last night. #LightTheDark #qandaAnnashi Jayde
@qanda This matters to Australians as #lightthedark demonstrates. Transparency is our right. Aus gov is committing human rights crimesSian Williamson
Hold the govt accountable every day not just every 3 yrs. more transparency less smoke and mirrors. #LightTheDarkMAR
Australia can be better than this. We can be a nation that helps not harms people who need our safety #lightthedarkSarah Hanson-Young
It is a terrible time for Australia when a person who came here seeking asylum from persecution is killed whilst in our care. #LightTheDarkAnna Fuhr
Other users placed the focus on asylum seekers.
#LightTheDark this man, Reza, was a criminal. Simple. He broke the law. He rioted. He was killed. Not nice, but, hey, DON'T RIOT #auspolWill Dallas Brooks
#LightTheDark wouldn't have happened if Asylum Seekers didn't riot. Fact. #AusPol #PMLiveMilton Phoenix
@FlickReynolds #Boaties are treated with dignity. When they riot, consequences follow. #auspol #LightTheDarkRev Gunkig
Shameful to protest over someone who came here illegally .... I have no sympathy for people who run riot an expected to have no repercussions....Kerri Attard
Australians also created the online campaign "
Sorry Asylum Seekers
" to condemn treatment of asylum seekers in detention facilities.
Sorry Asylum Seekersflickr.com
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
concerns over conditions faced by asylum seekers in Manus Island and Nauru. A November 2013 UNHCR report
asylum seekers in these facilities "are living in arbitrary detention in conditions that do not meet international standards".