Paul Kent, Clementine Cuneo and AAP
From: The Daily Telegraph
April 21, 2011 12:29PM
A PROTEST at Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre is expected to last one more night but there will be no more violence, detainees say.
Several detainees were still on the roof of Villawood Detention Centre this afternoon, where they erected banners pleading for help.
Staff were still trying to regain control of the facility after a night of rioting which saw nine demountable buildings destroyed by fire, and other buildings severely vandalised.
One of the roof-top protesters vowed not to come down until he was given a visa and freedom.
Speaking exclusively to the Daily Telegraph, Majid Tarhizkar, an Iranian refugee who has been in detention for 20 months, said he had no regrets about taking part in the protest.
“Give me a Visa, give me the freedom”, he said.
“We need help for freedom ... we have had two years in detention and we need to get out.”
A spokesmen for the refugees said they are willing to come down if someone from the Department of Immigration talked to them.
However, Tarhizkar rejected this, saying: “if they want to talk to me they have to come on to the roof”.
“I am not going down until my lawyer gets a visa," he said.
"I promised everybody I would not go down so the answer is to keep myself on the roof”.
“Give me a visa and then I’ll come down, don’t give me a visa I’ll never come down”.
The remaining protesters have laid out several banners, one of which read "We Need Help".
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has warned the rioters that their claims could be affected.
"Violence doesn't get anyone, anywhere," she said.