Bega's asylum seeker candlelit vigil

CONCERNED Bega residents joined tens of thousands of others around the country on Sunday in a candlelit vigil for Manus Island asylum seekers.

On Sunday night, around 750 vigils were held in locations around Australia after news of the recent riot on Manus Island that left one man dead and many others injured.

The vigils were organised by GetUp to bring public attention to the Federal Government’s “cruel treatment of asylum seekers”.

In support of the public movement, 22 people gathered on Carp St in front of Member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy's Bega office with candles and messages of support for Reza Berati, the 23-year-old Iranian man who was killed during the riots.

“Not in our names”, “Sorry”, and “Light a candle for decency” were some of the slogans displayed.

The vigil was one of several held in the Bega Valley.  

Vigils were also held at the Cobargo Folk Festival on Sunday during the volunteer closing dinner, in Brogo and Myrtle Mountain.

One of the Bega vigil participants forwarded on a message she said came from the brother of an asylum seeker who was injured on Manus last week, after he was told about the 750 vigils that people around the world were holding.

"He will be happy. He will tell to all people of Manus Island. 

“They will give you best wishes.

“They will hope for freedom. You will give them hope.

“This is an unforgettable help. 

“I would like to say thank you from my heart."

For more details on GetUp’s Light the Dark campaign, visit www.getup.org.au/light-the-dark.

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