About 50 protesters stood outside the Lady Cliento Hospital early Sunday morning, with sustained protest against the forthcoming deportation of baby girl Asha to Nauru.
During the protest, there was a flicker of hope among the protesters, as rumours of a probable deal for Asha and her family to be held in community detention, came into limelight. However, a spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton couldn’t confirm the rumours.
“This is an operational matter, so I can’t comment on that,” she said.
Asha has been under medical care at the South Brisbane hospital since she suffered burns, while in detention in Nauru. Although she is recovering, doctors have rejected the idea of discharging her until “a suitable home environment is identified”, says The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ellen Roberts, a GetUp spokeswoman, expressed hope on the issue and said that a deal had been reached.
“We think that would be a very positive outcome for the family,” she said. “Unfortunately, advocates are still unable to contact the family and that’s what we’re really concerned about. But being released into a community would be a fantastic outcome and not one that was on the cards a week ago, so I think that’s a real testament to the community pressure.”
At one point on Saturday night, the #LadyCliento hashtag was trending worldwide on Twitter.
— Lady Twitching Tail (@darlingcat) February 20, 2016
There were about 300 people right outside the hospital, at the height of the protest on Saturday night. Pizzas were ordered across Australia to be delivered on Saturday night, while sufficient leftovers were donated to the local homeless shelter, says The Guardian.
The numbers were expected to swell throughout Sunday, as the protesters vowed to stay until the situation was settled.
Earlier, there was an offer for the Turnbull government from New Zealand PM John Key to help solve the refugee crisis.