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Multi-faith vigil set to storm Heaven with prayers for Baby Asha

Baby Asha

Offering support: Sign from the rally.

FAITH groups in Brisbane including representatives from the Catholic Church will stand outside a city hospital today to support doctors refusing to release an asylum seeker baby.

Members of the Queensland Council of Unions, the Queensland Community Alliance and Christian movement Love Makes A Way organised a multi-faith vigil outside Lady Cilento Hospital for today at 5.30pm in solidarity with doctors who have refused to release a 12-month-old asylum seeker to Nauru Detention Centre.

Supporters at the candlelight vigil will join protesters who have been standing outside the hospital since Friday, February 12.

The refugee, known as Baby Asha, was born in Australia, but was removed to Nauru at five months old.

She was admitted to the hospital in January after being accidentally burnt by boiling water in her parent’s tent at Nauru.

Doctors have refused to discharge the child to her parent’s tent at Nauru Detention Centre.

QCA lead organiser David Copeman, who will be attending the vigil, said the Brisbane doctors were within their rights to protect Baby Asha from future harm.

“This is a moral question,” Mr Copeman said.

“Doctors treating people in our care must find ways to keep their patient well and remain well.

“They have made an assessment that Nauru Detention Centre is not suitable and are exercising their duty as clinicians.”

Mr Copeman said the case of Baby Asha was a personal example “of the harmful nature” of detention centres.

“This baby was born in Australia and was put in danger because of laws that exist in our country,” Mr Copeman said.

He said all medical professionals had a duty of care to their patients, and believed the doctors at Lady Cilento Hospital were exercising their right to protect the child from future harm.

LMAW organising committee member Michelle McDonald, who has been protesting since last week, said the movement had already collected 600 signatures supporting a move to find Baby Asha secure housing, but were hoping for 1000.

“They will be presented to (immigration minister) Peter Dutton by the end of the week,” Ms McDonald said.

She said LMAW would attend the vigil every day “to stand in solidarity with Asha and her family and the medical staff caring for her”.

Protest Group

Standing firm: Protesters outside a city hospital last week to support doctors refusing to release an asylum seeker baby, below, a sign from the rally.

By Emilie Ng

Catholic Church Insurance

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