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Australians commemorate slain asylum seeker Reza Berati

Crying out for change: Hundreds take part in the candlelight vigil at Sydney's Town Hall.

Crying out for change: Hundreds take part in the candlelight vigil at Sydney's Town Hall. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

More than 4000 people gathered at Sydney's Town Hall on Sunday night for a candlelight vigil to remember slain Iranian asylum seeker Reza Berati.

The crowd was addressed by The Chaser's Chris Taylor, and actress Imogen Bailey spoke about her experience on the SBS televison documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From.

Activist group GetUp said about 15,000 people attended at least 600 snap protests across Australia on Sunday, from Queensland cattle stations to Melbourne's Federation Square.

Died on Manus Island: Reza Berati.

Died on Manus Island: Reza Berati.

The protests come days after Mr Berati, 23, was killed and 62 other asylum seekers were injured in violent scenes at the Australian-run immigration detention centre on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.

"Many thousands of Australians tonight cried out for change,” said GetUp's national director Sam Mclean.

“The truth is we just don't know what's happening in these places, the Government's shut off the lights, taking censorship to an unprecedented level.”

“We need a truly independent inquiry into this tragedy and proper public scrutiny of these places.”

In Melbourne, more than 1000 people heard from speakers including Tim Costello and Father Bob Maguire.

"Australians tonight have demonstrated that we are a compassionate and welcoming people,” said Mr Costello.

“We know asylum policy is complex - but what isn't complex is that a human being who came to us for protection instead died in terrible circumstances.”

Vigils were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Brisbane and regional towns including Devonport, Darwin, Wollongong, Geelong, Whyalla, Albany, Alice Springs, Coodanup and Caloundra.

With AAP

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