MD Imran's future has no security

Dear Prime Minister,

What will happen after the Manus RPC is closed and the locals lose their jobs?

It is anticipated that more violence will take place in the coming months, as thousands of locals who work here will lose their jobs. They have been working in this environment for almost four years and they have got the taste of money and their lifestyle has changed dramatically. Everything will be gone from their lives overnight and they will have to go back to their previous lives. They will be left with nothing again. Just think for a moment how desperate they will be and what will happen to their families. Furthermore, they don’t want us here if they are not making money from us.
Our prison centre will be closed down by 31st October 2017, yet the war on us will become even more extreme and problematic. We don’t know how many years we are going to be kept in the Transit Centre. We don’t know what will happen with the USA process if we are forced to move to other places in PNG. Why are the 70 refugees who agreed to settle in PNG still in the Transit Centre without any hope of resettlement? We know nothing about our future after four years.
— https://www.facebook.com/md.imran.5688476/posts/1339252509495323

MD Imran's experience of ongoing harassment

Dear Prime Minister,

And then there is the arbitrary and continual changing of rules:

Not long ago, Australian security guards and PNG police officers used to search our rooms every two or three months. We were moved from our rooms at 6am and placed in the heat of the sun until the search was over. We were escorted by Wilson security guards to use the toilet, the door of which we were not allowed to lock. Our belongings were stolen or confiscated because someone just thought that it was contraband, when in fact it was not. There is no way to describe the real torture we have suffered in this environment.
We still remember how they made us suffer when they first opened the doors after the PNG Supreme Court found the camp was illegal. We were allowed to go to the Transit centre and stay overnight with our friends who had moved there. But they changed the rules regularly without notice and left us on the street. We were allowed to enter the Transit centre in the morning, where we left our bags in our friends’ rooms while went to the local market to buy food so that we could cook a decent meal. When we returned in the afternoon, we were denied entry. Others who came back later in the evening couldn’t return to the prison centre because there was no bus after 6pm. They spent all night on the street in front of the Transit centre. On one occasion, I was refused the use of the toilet. The locals who work there do what they are told on the radio and we can never question someone who is in charge. If we ask questions, we are put in prison straight away. This is life on Manus Island.
— https://www.facebook.com/md.imran.5688476/posts/1339252509495323

MD Imran writes of the fear of living in PNG

Dear Prime Minister,

This is why the detainees on Manus cannot resettle in PNG.

We have been imprisoned for almost four years and we have deteriorated physically and mentally. However, now we are expected to live a normal life in the community in PNG with no chance of healing and without help and support.
We respect people, but in return we have been robbed, beaten up and assaulted and more importantly, lives have been lost, yet it is the refugees and asylum seekers who remain the victims. It is believed that we will never be able to build a normal life in PNG as we are introduced as criminals by Australian government and as a result there will be no respect for us.
Many Australians have visited Manus Island and having seen and experienced it with their own eyes, their initial reaction is that it is not a safe place to stay. They have seen how traumatised we are. When we go into town we are desperate to go back to the prison centre. One day one of the Wilson security guards asked me why we are impatient to return to our prison camp. He just couldn’t understand our situation, that although we are completely sick of this hellhole, it is the only place where our mind can relax, as we know that we are not going to be robbed, beaten up or assaulted for no reason.
— https://www.facebook.com/md.imran.5688476/posts/1339252509495323

MD Imran writes from Manus

Dear Prime Minister,

What are the supposed options for the men on Manus?

Choices for refugees are:
Refugees can move to accommodation in the PNG community.
Refugees can temporarily relocate to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre.
Return home voluntarily, with reintegration assistance.
Refugees can move to a third country where they have the right to reside.
Options for the non-refugees:
They can return home voluntarily, with reintegration assistance.
They will be moved from PNG by the Government of PNG, without any reintegration assistance.
They can temporarily move to Mike compound.
In coming months, other compounds will also be closed and demolished.
The statement was read to us by PNG immigration officials and even though it wasn’t a game, it felt like they were play acting. It was very easy for them to bring some papers and read them out loud, but such an announcement will completely demolish our lives and leave us in limbo, with nothing. Most of us had no idea what they were saying as there were no interpreters for any community, neither was there anyone from the Australian immigration department. None of us slept the following night as everything is going to be destroyed again.
— https://www.facebook.com/md.imran.5688476/posts/1339252509495323

Listen to MD Imran.

Dear Prime Minister,

The flood of leaked documents from IHMS and Broadspectrum continues. It is incredible that Minister Dutton and Department Chief Pezzullo are still in employment. Eventually, the legal system will catch up with them. But it is more important that the voices in detention are heard. This is the first part of an article written by MD Imran, a young man on Manus Island.

Somewhere in our hearts we had a hope that we would be moved to safety by the end of October this year when this prison Manus RPC Concentration Camp would be closed down, however these hopes were dashed when another devastating announcement was made on 15th May on a Monday afternoon by PNG immigration, which has ruined the lives of refugees and asylum seekers once again.
According to the announcement, PNG, with Australia’s support, will close the centre on 31 October 2017. There are many key messages.
Foxtrot compound will be the first compound to close, starting with N block on 28th May but by the 30th of June the whole Foxtrot compound will be evacuated and the area will be locked. No one will be permitted to enter and electricity will be turned off from each compound.
— https://www.facebook.com/md.imran.5688476/posts/1339252509495323

Close the camps. Bring them here.

Only if they are at point of death

Dear Prime Minister,

An asylum seeker on Nauru who needed knee surgery was finally sent, after many months, not to Australia but to a hospital in Papua New Guinea. When DIBP has been asked about this and similar cases it says that the Government of Nauru determines who gets transferred to Australia for medical treatment. Leaked documents from IHMS show this to be a lie. It is the Australian Border Force who controls the Government of Nauru and prevents asylum seekers from being flown to Australia. Patients will only be transferred if they are at risk of permanent disability or death.

Stop the torture. Close the camps. Bring them here.

Close the camps Bring them here. #294

Dear Prime Minister,

The St Vincent de Paul Society has demanded that Australia brings the more than 800 asylum seekers on Manus Island to Australia now. The Society lists a number of reasons why there is no other option, including that Australia is about to end funding to medical support on Manus Island yet many of the men who will be forced to stay there have major health issues caused by their four years in detention. It is not an option for them to return to their countries of origin where they will face persecution or harm. The Society also points out that the promised deal with US is moving very slowly and it is unclear how many, if any, men will be accepted by the US.

Bringing them here would be a popular decision, Mr Turnbull. An Australia Institute poll shows that 72% of respondents support having asylum seekers in offshore detention brought here.

Close the camps, bring them here.

End offshore detention. #293

Dear Prime Minister,

We have observed and protested against the year-long campaign to make conditions even worse for detainees on Manus Island. Now documents from Transfield and Broadsprectum show that it has been the active intent of the camp managers and security staff to make Manus detention centre as inhospitable as possible.

There are plans for forced removals and warnings of 'catastrophic consequences' for having to use PNG police. Broadspectrum documents note that pushing the detainees out with no plan for their resettlement would 'be distressing' for them. But they go on to say 'if the detainees fail to comply (ie leave) the police will remove them either to their new compound [peaceful], to the MAA [resist] or jail [violent].'

Do not let this happen. The only possible outcome will be damage, violence, trauma and death. Close the camps and bring them here.

Consider their options

Dear Prime Minister,

The detainees on Manus Island have been told that the 'refugee processing centre' will be closed, starting in two weeks time. As Behrouz Boochani said yesterday, PNG does not want the refugees and the refugees cannot make a life there.

What can 'consider your options' be except a terrible cruel taunt? They have no money. They have no where to go. Their health has been broken. They are our responsibility.

Australia to provoke violence between asylum seekers and Manussians

Dear Prime Minister

What is the cost of offshore detention in: money spent so far, trauma caused to employees of DIBP and contracted businesses who work in offshore detention, trauma caused to asylum seekers, damage done to Australia's standing, damage done to Australia, Nauru and PNG's democratic systems, damage done to the people of Manus and Nauru, future costs?

Australia is continuing to violate human rights in Manus. Immigration is telling people that their plan is to remove those people who were interviewed for America to East Lorengau camp which is close to Lorengau town. Also they want to move people with negative refugee status to Mike compound, and the other refugees with positive refugee status but who are not yet interviewed for America to Delta and Oscar compounds. Closing Fox compound completely is part of the plan too. In the past few days the Deputy Commissioner of the Australian Border Force was visiting Manus and the facilities. The Australian government wants to implement this policy in spite of the serious resistance from local people who are strongly against the decision to take more people into their community. Mr Ronny Knight, the Manusian MP, has already warned both the Australian and PNG governments that local people won’t accept this decision. In addition, the refugees are asking for freedom in a safe place, and it seems the Australian government is trying to trick people for political reasons, telling them and the media that they will close the prison and it will not be true. They cannot solve the problem by sending people to Lorengau town. Also it is unavoidable that the refugees will resist and the government knows that well. I’m sure they will threaten people to accept this decision. We should wait to know more. But it appears again that there is not any law for protecting the refugees and there is not any justice.
— Behrouz Boochani

Bring them here.

No health care on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister

Listen to the recorded conversation between a refugee on Nauru and his doctor, who has tried for 10 months to get him an urgent MRI. The doctor says 'the medical system here is broken.'

Mark Colvin said, in his interview with Richard Fidler, to ask the simple questions. Good advice.

Who benefits when the Nauru hospital refuses to provide refugee patients with prescribed healthcare?

How much is the Government of Nauru paid to deny overseas referrals for gravely ill refugees?

 

Mothers' Day

Dear Prime Minister,

These words were written by a refugee who is stranded in Indonesia. How would you advise him?

(Unsaid words to my Mother)
Dear Mother,
I want to confess that I’m liar, you trained me to never say lie to anyone but I did. while I was in Detention Centre (I.D.C) I was living like a prisoner but I lied to you that I am free, when I was looking to the rain drops and I was interested to touch that rain drops from behind the cage of my room in detention centre, I lied to you, which I hate the rain.
My Mother, right now I am not in that prison instead I am in a wider prison which is called Indonesia.
Even when I told you that my process got done after waiting for many years, I lied as well
On that time. after that time the UNHCR authorities just desponded us frequently.
My mother still you think that I spend my moments happily here, but sometimes I get out just for your sake and make smiled face photos, though nothing is interesting here and everything is frustrating.
I feel hopeless from every side. I can see the oldness and stress on the faces of my friends, even those who are in their young ages.
Maybe we are sentenced to the gradual death.
My kind mother, we are not more than forgotten humans here in green hell.
My mother, all these pains are not equal to the pain of being far away from family.
Every day I am living in yearn to see again your faces.
I have no idea that will we see each other or not? I am afraid and afraid of that there won’t be any reunion.
My kind mother forgive me for all those lies that I have told you in these years.
Whatever I do is just to make you not worry,
even I lie to yourself.
I love you Mom
— https://www.facebook.com/refugees62/photos/a.1832109333720994.1073741828.1831085627156698/1833887610209833/?type=3&theater

Illegal deportation

Dear Prime Minister,

Why does Australia continue to argue that the refugees on Manus Island are subject only to PNG decision-making? The Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs clearly stated that it is Australia who is liable for the safety of asylum seekers in PNG and Nauru. As is concluded in an article critical of Australia's attempts to deport the injured Azzam el Cheikh:

Australia cannot evade its responsibilities by tricky manipulation of international borders or contractual terms. Australia is calling the shots and Australia must adhere to the most fundamental moral obligation to treat sick people with dignity. Instead, however, it has ordered the deportation of a seriously ill man with no concern for his health or Australia’s legal obligations toward him. In doing so, it is complicit in cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and likely breaching obligations under international law to ensure deportations do not give rise to a risk of persecution or torture.
— http://www.jurist.org/forum/2017/05/Barns-Talbot-Australias-Forcible-Deportations.php

For the 286th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

The five judges of the PNG Supreme Court ruled unanimously last year that the detention of asylum seekers on Manus island was both illegal and unconstitutional. PNG's Prime Minister O'Neill has said that Australia must make 'alternative arrangements.' Ferrovial/Transfield, who run the camp under contract to the Australian government has said they will no longer run detention centres. In fact, they can break their contract at any time, since an illegal contract is unenforceable. Further, the Ferrovial employees are risking imprisonment of up to three years by continuing to work on Manus and Nauru. Professor Blackshield said that Australian government members could be charged with criminal conduct as the contracting principals of the detention centres.

The onus of changing the policy and making alternative arrangements belongs entirely to the Australian government. Why has this not been done?

Poison on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

The Senate has agreed to test the detainees in the Nauru detention centre for cadmium exposure which is due to the centre's location on the site of the former phosphate mine. The Liberal senators voted against it. Why?

May 10, 2017

May 10, 2017

Close the camps. Bring them here.

Is this our refugee assessment process?

Dear Prime Minister,

Azzam el Sheikh describes his refugee status assessments in 2014 which resulted in a negative status.

The first time they changed what I said. When I asked them to check the recorded voice they refused. They said ‘make an appeal’.
The last meeting with immigration I asked them to check the situation in Lebanon. and public security. I said, ‘You are the person who will make the decision if I get deported or not.’ He said yes. I said, ‘Where is Lebanon? Which continent?’ He said, Africa. I said, ‘Which countries do we have as borders?’ He said, I do not know. I said, ‘How many parties do we have?’. He said he did not know. I said, ‘Do you know how many people have guns?’ No. I said, ‘Do you know the number of people who have guns not under the army or government?’ No. I said, ‘’How can you make a decision then if you don’t know anything?’
They have a recording of that too.
They do not use any rules. I said get that recording. Australia has that. If it says I’m a liar I’ll go back on same day.
For no reason. They reject us for no reason.
— By Azzam el Cheikh 6 May 2017.

Close the camps. Bring them here.

From a Mother on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

These are the words of Azita Fathalipoor

I’m a mother from Nauru Detention Centre. As a mother, I want to share my pain with Australian mothers on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately it’s been three years that we are in detention centre and we see our kids’ pain and we are unable to help them. It’s been three years that our kids don’t have birthday cake! They don’t have candles, and they don’t even have birthday presents. I as a mother have been a witness for all of these.
Our kids don’t have a proper place to sleep, sit or even play. It’s been three years that our kids are away from basic rights of life. It’s been three years that our kids don’t get any proper education. It’s been three years that Australian Government has stolen our kids’ best chances of their lives away from them.
It’s been three years that our children are looking for freedom. They only want a normal life and nothing else - a normal life in a country such as Australia where they can play freely, go to school and be happy. These are the very first rights of a child which have been stolen away from them for three years. Seriously, what is their sin?
Where are the ‘children rights’ that Australia believes in? Or maybe they think only their children deserve to have rights? It’s been three years that our children are looking for the ‘lost justice’ and they haven’t seen anything but cruelty. Where is that ‘human right’ that Australia claims? Our children have got too many questions in their mind which unfortunately no one is able to answer.
It’s been three years that (Minister Dutton) says there are no kids in detention. He doesn’t count our kids. Aren’t our kids like other kids? What kind of human right does allow to use women and children for politics? Three years of our children’s lives are being ruined, who is responsible for this huge cruelty?
Kids of Nauru detention have mental issues, as well as their families. Poor Nauru Detention’s kids that have to see their parents depressed and unable to even talk to them. It’s a part of the pain of all mothers of here which I wanted to share it with other Australian mothers on mother’s day and behalf of all the mothers ask them to free our kids from this hell, you Australian people have power and if you want you can change many things.
At last, I want to thank all advocaters that try to make our kids smile by sending gifts, we really appreciate that but unfortunately nothing can make them happy anymore except a ‘normal life’. We love you and respect you and we ask you to please, please please free our children from this hell.
— https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155245583037716&set=a.47736032715.56485.547502715&type=3&theater

Close the camps and bring them here.

End offshore detention. Bring them here. #281

Dear Prime Minister,

In Behrouz Boochani's evocative and insightful article in The Saturday paper he describes his trips from Manus detention centre to the tiny island of Mendirlin.  There, he and other refugees are welcomed to visit by patriarch Rubbin Malachi despite he and his family's own imminent homelessness due to rising sea levels. Behrouz Boochani concludes his article:

Mendirlin, a small island, in all its beauty and innocence, is a centre of gravity for many complex matters at the heart of our global crisis: war, environmental pollution, climate change and the refugee crisis. To be more precise, the crisis of people who happen to have nowhere to live, people who have no other way, no remedy but to risk their lives and seek asylum in other nations. It is not difficult to imagine that in the future people like Rubbin and his family who have welcomed refugees to their island may need to seek asylum in other countries.
After a few hours, I returned to Manus Island and its prison. On the way, I was thinking about the images and questions parading in my mind. Questions such as: What has happened to our world when a tiny island such as Mendirlin embraces refugees with open arms, and a huge continent such as Australia throws them thousands of kilometres out into the middle of the ocean?
— https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2017/05/06/island-manus/14939928004582

Close the camps and bring them here.