Tag: indefinite

Refugees Detained in Melbourne’s Mantra Hotel Speak Out: “Our Lockdown Is Indefinite”

Interview by
Chris Breen

Since 2012, Australia has sent 4,183 refugees to be detained in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Nauru, in breach of the 1951 Refugee Convention, to which Australia remains a signatory. As of October 2020, 290 refugees are in offshore detention while 870 have been resettled in the United States. One thousand two hundred twenty-six refugees have been sent to Australia and are living in the community on final departure bridging visas. This includes children and their families from Nauru brought to Australia as a result of pressure from the refugee movement.

However, there is another group of refugees who have reached Australian soil and are being detained in a continuous, indefinite lockdown. They were transported here under the short-lived Medevac Bill passed in early 2019, when the Liberal–National Coalition briefly lost its parliamentary majority. Although the law was repealed after ten months, while it was operative it forced the authorities to transport 192 refugees to Australia for medical treatment.

Liberal PM Scott Morrison always hated Medevac. In order to undermine the legislation and depict refugees as a threat, his Coalition government has made sure that most refugees brought here for medical treatment are being held in conditions that are, by many accounts, worse than offshore detention. The Department of Immigration sequestered hotels for just this purpose. The main two are the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne and the Kangaroo Point Hotel in Brisbane.

Refugee advocate Chris Breen spoke with two refugees, Mostafa Azimitabar (Moz) and Ramsiyar Sabanayagam (Ramsi), who are indefinitely detained in the Mantra Hotel “alternative place of detention” (APOD) in Preston, Melbourne. In total, they have spent six years detained on Manus Island in PNG, and now over one year detained in Melbourne. Protests inside and outside detention are ongoing, as are other efforts to free them.


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Trump International Hotel Washington DC sale put on indefinite hold

  • The Trump Organization’s efforts to sell the Trump International Hotel Washington DC have been put on indefinite hold, casting doubts on the future of one of the President’s biggest financial bets, according to industry executives.
  • The Trump Organization hired Jones Lang LaSalle to shop the hotel to potential buyers last fall hoping for a price of about $500 million.
  • People familiar with the deal talks said none of the bids came close to the asking price, and several were for less than $250 million.



a large clock mounted to the side of a building: The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.


© Provided by CNBC
The Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Trump Organization’s efforts to sell the Trump International Hotel Washington DC have been put on indefinite hold, casting doubts on the future of one of the President’s biggest financial bets, according to industry executives.

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The Trump Organization hired Jones Lang LaSalle to shop the hotel to potential buyers last fall hoping for a price of about $500 million. People familiar with the deal talks said none of the bids came close to the asking price, and several were for less than $250 million. Jones Lang LaSalle confirmed to CNBC that efforts to sell the hotel are on “indefinite hold.”

The hotel, which became the glittering social hub of President Donald Trump’s Washington and a crown jewel of Trump’s business empire, now faces the added pressures of the coronavirus pandemic and the president’s post-election future.

Faced with a $100 million loan from Deutsche Bank on the property and continued losses, the Trump Organization may end up either having to subsidize the business for years to come, or default on the loan and hand back the property, according to industry executives.

“At this point, they could either just turn over the keys, or keep it and make it part of whatever media company the President decides to create,” said Brian Friedman of Friedman Capital, which bid on the hotel and owns several hotels and properties in the DC area. “I just don’t think they’re going to get the price they expected.”

The Trump Organization didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Gathering spot for GOP

The Trump International Hotel in DC celebrated its grand opening in October, 2016, right before the election, and quickly became the favorite gathering spot for companies, politicians and lobbyists eager to build relations with the new White House. The property took in $40.5 million in revenues in 2019, the latest period available, according to disclosures filed to the the Office of Government Ethics.

According to election filings, campaign committees tied to the president or the the GOP spent about $3 million at the hotel since Trump became president. With business strong, the Trump Organization started shopping around the hotel to potential buyers last October.

After the widespread lockdowns and travel restrictions in March, the sales efforts were halted. Even longtime longtime pillars of the Washington hotel business, like the St. Regis and The Hay-Adams, continue to struggle to fill rooms and amidst the drop in travel and tourism.

But even

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