Dear Prime Minister,
This is my 452nd letter to you. I cannot comprehend how much worse the situation has become since I started writing these letters. What do you, Minister Dutton, Mike Pezzullo, et al, need to tell yourselves about the men, women and children in offshore and onshore detention to justify the way you treat them? In what ways must you deny their humanity?
What do you say to yourself about Sr Keogh when she tells her eye-witness accounts of the illnesses and injuries and lack of care for the refugees on Manus Island? Are you heartened when you hear her say 'You can't hope to get any changes with the government'?
What do you need to tell yourself about each of the 1800+ offshore detainees? Like Walid Zazai, a young man only a few months older than my daughter, who speaks and writes politely, sensitively about his desperate situation on Manus. What do you feel when you listen to his quiet words? Do you notice that Walid, after all his suffering, can still talk of love?
Or do you still do what I saw you do, twice, when I took my protest to you in Albany? Do you turn away, do you tilt your body and your face away from all of these questions, from each of these individual humans? Do you make jokes, like Pezzullo does, about torture? Are you still too frightened to face the consequences of what you oversee?
We activists do not turn away. We see. The refugees see and feel it on their bodies and on their souls. More and more the world sees. End mandatory detention of asylum seekers and refugees. Bring all men, women and children in offshore detention to safety and freedom now.