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The gag on medical workers has been lifted!

It's working!

Have you heard the amazing news?!1,2,3,4,5,6,7 ... you get the picture – this is big.

Doctors4Refugees and Fitzroy Legal Service have announced a major win in their High Court case against the Border Force Act.

In a huge backdown, the Turnbull Government has dropped the gag rule that stopped doctors and health professionals speaking out against the child abuse, sexual abuse and medical negligence they witness on Nauru and Manus Island.

This is incredible news for medical staff – and it happened thanks to the donations of GetUp members like you, and with the support of the Grata Fund, a new legal fund initiated by GetUp to hold power to account in our courts.

It's a massive win. But it's also a cowardly legal manoeuvre. The government left the gag rule in place for all other potential whistleblowers, like teachers and social workers, just because they weren't part of the case.

By removing the Border Force Act gag rule from just a fraction of the carers who could speak out, Minister Dutton hopes he can still hide incidents of abuse and mistreatment from public view. That's at the core of the government's strategy to keep people in detention and get away with abuse.

But some brave people are still risking two years in jail just for speaking up – and every time they do, we'll be there to support them.

Just last week, through ABC's Four Corners8 and an Amnesty International report,9 teachers and service workers spoke out about incidents and conditions of abuse on Nauru.

It's appalling that they are still at risk of prosecution. But the backdown in the case of medical staff means the government fears gagging whistleblowers is not just immoral and undemocratic – it could be unconstitutional.

It's yet more proof that we're on the right side of history – and we have to keep up the fight.

So take a moment to celebrate the progress we've made together, and then get ready for round two, because we need to double down on this success.

Thank you for all you have done and will do in the campaign to #BringThemHere.

In hope,

Aurora, Matt, Renaire, Shen and Isabelle for the GetUp team

[1] 'Asylum gag lifted for doctors, nurses', Sky News Australia, 20 October 2016
[2] 'A huge win for doctors': Turnbull government backs down on gag laws for doctors on Nauru and Manus', Sydney Morning Herald, 20 October 2016
[3] 'Doctors freed to speak about Australia's detention regime after U-turn', Guardian Australia, 20 October 2016
[4] 'Australia Lifts Jail Threat for Doctors Treating Refugees', ABC News, 20 October 2016
[5] 'Australia lifts gag order on doctors treating refugees', Al Jazeera, 20 October 2016
[6] 'Australia lifts jail threat for doctors treating refugees', Colorado Springs Gazette, 20 October 2016
[7] Breakfast, Radio National, 21 October 2016
[8] 'The Forgotten Children', ABC Four Corners, 17 October 2016
[9] 'Island of Despair', Amnesty International, 17 October 2016

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