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Refugee Advisor Quits; Hunger Strikes Escalate

January 23, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

A senior government advisor on immigration resigned over Australia's hard-line treatment of refugees as poisoning protests and hunger strikes by detained asylum seekers escalated.

At least seven refugees at the Woomera detention center in southern Australia were hospitalized overnight after drinking detergent. They were in good condition this morning, health authorities said.

More than 200 people at the center have been on a hunger strike for eight days, and dozens have sewn their lips together.

Neville Roach, a senior advisor to Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, said he had resigned to protest the government's refugee policies.

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