Paladin vs Kingfisher

Dear Prime Minister,

Why did Australia increase the contract fee paid to Port Moresby security company Paladin from $39 million to $72 million one month before Paladin's contract was due to expire? The contract period was 4 months. Will the Government continue to pay $33 million per month for security on Manus?

On 15 January the Manus company Kingfisher threw the Paladin staff off the West Haus and Hillside sites. Behrouz Boochani reported:

Kingfisher company is in competition with Paladin, because of that they sent all of Paladin staff out. Same problem happened 11 November last year. It’s unacceptable that the companies who have responsibility for security are making the situation unsafe.
— Behrouz Boochani

The refugees are not safe. What will happen on Jan 31 2018 when the security contract expires?

Untreated head injury

Dear Prime Minister,

In November, Abu Bakar, a 28 year old Rohingyan refugee on Nauru was driven into by a 4-wheel drive while riding a motorbike. His injuries were so bad he was kept in hospital for a month. Medical staff recommended he be moved to Australia for specialist care. Since leaving hospital his condition has worsened. He cannot walk properly, can't use his right arm or open his right eye. The only treatment he gets is Panadol. His symptoms indicate a possible brain clot and he needs to be seen by a neurosurgeon immediately. When ABC AM program contacted ABF for comment the standard lie, that medical care is delivered appropriately as indicated and that no comment will be made on individual cases, was issued.

I am afraid when I write a letter like this. I am afraid that mentioning a specific refugee while trying to get assistance for them (in this case to prevent their death or permanent disability) will lead to ABF inflicting further suffering on that refugee so as to shut up protests and calls for humanity and justice. When I started writing these letters to you, Prime Minister, I thought that Australia was a functional democracy. I know now that it is not. Despite the futility of writing to your corrupted office I will continue to do so to have it on the record that the actions of you and your Government are seen, are protested, and are condemned. I am doing what I can for Abu Bakar. It may not help him. But it will condemn you.

Raw sewage

Dear Prime Minister,

Once again the local Manusians have blockaded the West Haus and Hillside detention centres. Raw sewage from the centres is running downhill onto the Manusians properties. The Manusians have had their land used against their wishes, have not been paid for the land, and are now have sewage from the incomplete, dysfunctional buildings making them sick.

The local people are complaining about the hygiene situation because it is making people sick. The new camps are very close to small villages and make the life hard for people there. It’s a problem created by the government and the government should take responsibility.
Manus Island has not a hospital with advance medical equipment and if people become sick there is not enough medical facility here to provide medical treatment for them.
— Behrouz Boochani

Australia literally shits on the Papua New Guineans. And the refugees are punished again.

Trauma counselling in handcuffs

Dear Prime Minister,

Why are asylum seekers and refugees in Australian detention centres handcuffed when taken to trauma counselling sessions? Why do security guards watch the trauma victims while they are being counselled?

Torture and trauma counselling now done in MITA in tiny interview rooms with chairs and tables bolted to the floor. No one allowed to go to Foundation House anymore so counsellors go to hellhole.
Guards sit on other side of glass panel in door staring at the person being counselled. Because furniture bolted to floor no chance to avoid staring guard as person tries to deal with talking about the worst time of their life.
— Pamela Curr

Withholding medical care is torture

Dear Prime Minister,

On January 8 2018 I wrote to you about Minister Dutton's failure to find a replacement for the former ABF Chief Medical Officer, Dr John Brayley. In that letter I referred to the suffering of a 14 year old girl and her family on Nauru because she is being denied medical treatment. Today Guardian Australia published a devastating article about another refugee detained on Nauru. He is Rohingyan. His wife and child are in Australia. He had attempted to make a life on Nauru but was beaten so badly by locals that he suffered brain damage and became mentally unwell. He tried to commit suicide by jumping off a roof. He survived, but badly broke his foot. The Nauru Hospital did not have the resources to treat his injuries. For more than a year he has suffered continuous severe pain. His mental state is so damaged that he does not understand where he is or how to look after himself. IHMS staff consider him to be violent. Medical staff on Nauru have repeatedly requested that he be transferred to Australia for urgent medical treatment. Yet there is no Chief Medical Officer on ABF staff and non-medically trained ABF staff continue to deny the man's transfer because the man will never be well enough to be returned to Nauru.

I feel sick, reading about this and writing this letter. Give this poor man immediate amnesty and fly him to Australia. You have succeeded in ruining his life. At least let him live.

Banning phones in immigration detention

Dear Prime Minister,

In the Migration Amendment Bill 2017, the Minister can decide which things are prohibited in immigration detention facilities. The list in the Bill includes mobile phones and SIM cards. There are asylum seekers in detention who have been there for eight years. That alone is terrible enough. But to deny them contact with their friends and family is inhumane.

Every day another outrage in offshore detention

Dear Prime Minister,

Radio New Zealand has reported that 108 of the refugees from Manus who are in Port Moresby, supposedly for medical treatment, are not receiving any allowance. They have been forced to sell their meals to pay for toiletries and other necessities.

Evacuate all refugees from Manus, Port Moresby and Nauru to safety and freedom now.

Child suicide danger on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

On Friday 5 January 2018 Nauruan government officials said that the police will forcibly move a fourteen year old refugee child and her refugee family from the medical facilities at RPC 1 on Nauru. The child has previously attempted suicide and has been diagnosed with a mental illness. Attempts to treat her have been unsuccessful. If the child and her family are removed from RPC 1 they will be forced to go back to the mouldy, unairconditioned, crowded tents at RPC 3 and will no longer be under medical supervision. The medical staff on Nauru warn that she is a high risk of suicide.

Why has Border Force allowed this to happen? Why hasn't medical advice been followed?

Today I rang Minister Dutton's Canberra office. I tried to pass a message on to Minister Dutton asking why there is still no replacement for Dr John Brayley, former chief medical officer of ABF. I asked why there is no one in the department who has medical qualifications yet decisions about medical care (mostly about withholding it) are still being made. The person answering the phone said he was unable to pass on my message and would not log my call. He suggested I write a letter. This is my 529th letter to you Prime Minister, and I am still waiting for a single reply.

What do we citizens do when the Government breaks international law, the law of other countries and its own law, endangers the life of a child despite direct warnings of those dangers and refuses to respond to we citizens? Why should we citizens act within the law when the Government does not? These are not rhetorical questions.


Dear Prime Minister,

First the wolves and jackals united
to rule and control us.
Then the vultures and rooks
wanted a share in our torture
and became guards.
The jungle trees joined in,
promising thick branches for axe-
handles to sever our roots and limbs;
pouring our blood on the ground
for the beasts to feast on.

Next the swamps and rivers united
to stop our water.
The wheat-farmers and millers
agreed to deny us bread.
The clouds colluded with the sky
to throw their rain on the desert
and leave us thirsty.
And the storms conjoined
with the winds to crush us
like autumn leaves under their boots.

All worked together to harvest
our humanity, manhood and bravery—
killing kindness and planting their curses instead.
— Mohammad Ali Maleki

Evacuate all refugees and people seeking asylum from Manus and Nauru and bring them to safety and freedom now.

Dutton spreads fear and lies

Dear Prime Minister,

Stop Minister Dutton. Stop his lies. Stop his racist language. Stop his vilification of Australian citizens. Stop his terrorising of the nation.

Stop his deadly regime towards asylum seekers.

Bring freedom and safety to all men on Manus Island and all men, women and children on Nauru.

Take me out of fences and bars

Dear Prime Minister,

I (a manus refugee) want to share my feeling with lovely people of Australia.

I did not decide to flee my country and family but the war and situation force me to leave my country. I have known a humanitarian country called Australia which gave safety to oppressed and coerced people like me in past.

Not in my case Australian Government give me five and continue years of imprisonment for seeking asylum, unaccountable torture, suffering, wounds and cries, deaths of my friends.

I live a life where system kill my every day every hour every minutes while my same boat people released in Australian community since 2013. Two years before I got positive refugee status am still in detention.

Tomorrow 2018 will start. I am begging for mercies. Let me and people like me on Manus, go.

Take me out of fences and bars......
— A Manus refugee

Prime Minister, I beg you, let this man go. Let all the refugees detained on Manus and Nauru go to safety and freedom.

Free the children

Dear Prime Minister,

We need to remind everyone – especially the politicians — about the plight of the children and families on Nauru. Mandatory detention is a denial of fundamental human rights.

We need to strongly reinforce the message that there are over 150 children detained on Nauru – not behind barbed wire, but they are still there, detained, robbed of their childhood and being used as political pawns. Here is a breakdown of the numbers of children in the 6 camps, as of October 25, 2017:

OPC 3 Camp – 52 children
EWA Camp – 22 children, aged from 2 to 18 years
Nibok Camp – 20 children, aged from 1 to 15 years
Anibare Camp – 3 children, aged 7 months, 2 years, 12 years
Ejoo Camp – 12 children including four 2 year-olds
Anijo Camp – approx. 51 children, aged 6 months to 18 years.

More than 150 children on Nauru. Nauru has become an island prison.
— Grandmothers against Detention of Refugee Children, Ballarat and Bendigo

Federal Cabinet can free refugees at any time

Dear Prime Minister,

The Australian government’s determination that the refugees residing on Manus and Nauru never come to Australia and its inability to find other homes for all of them has created what one MP calls an “intractable problem”. There are many intractable problems in international affairs but this is most certainly not one of them. The solution is a straightforward one and entirely within the authority of the federal cabinet to implement. It is high time it did so.
— Jenny Hayward-Jones,

Bring all refugees on Manus and Nauru to freedom and safety now.

Prevention of Torture

Dear Prime Minister,

Now that Australia is about to ratify the OPCAT (Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture), are you and Minister Dutton prepared to have Australia's places of detention monitored? The UN Subcommittee on the Prevention of Torture (SPT) has said that were a country detains people outside of its borders (as Australia does in PNG and Nauru) then it must arrange for the detention centres to be inspected. Australian workplace laws for health and safety must apply in its offshore detention centres and these must be monitored. What has been put in place to make sure that the detention centres on Manus and Nauru comply with health and safety laws and satisfy the SPT standards to prevent abuses of human rights? Who documents and verifies Australia's compliance? 

What is our crime?

Dear Prime Minister,

On the last day of 2017 remember the men on Manus and the men, women and children on Nauru. Abdul Aziz from Manus asks:

Just take a minute from your time
and count with me
how many years and why?
What did we do?
and now 2018.

What is our crime
for being detained
and why
we’re still detained?

This is happening now in Australia?
We are in 21st century
— Abdul Aziz Muhamat

How do you answer? 

Behrouz Boochani wishes for justice. Will you give it to him?

I would like to say happy new year to all of my friends who support us. It’s the fifth Christmas and new year we have spent here. It’s been a long journey and I know many people have become tired from what the Australian government is doing on Manus and Nauru, but I hope 2018 is a year of freedom and justice for all refugees. We definitely could not have survived until now without your support. I wish for a year of justice and peace for people around the world.
— Behrouz Boochani

These questions have been asked since offshore detention was re-started in 2013. This is my 521st letter to you, Prime Minister. The refugees deserve answers now. Your silence condemns you.

Danger and poverty on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

Recent news reports from Papua New Guinea reinforce the repeated claims from the refugees detained there about risks of violence, poor security and lack of basic necessities.

PNG provincial governors warn of torture and murder of vulnerable people who have been accused of sorcery. Minister Dutton's claims that PNG is a safe country are again shown to be false.

Why has Paladin, the new security provider, re-employed the Australian security guards who had formerly worked for Wilson Security? These guards had been accused of violence, destruction of property and verbal abuse by the refugees during the years of the Manus RPC at Lombrun and in its violent destruction and clearing.

The chief executive of PNG's Independent Consumer and Competition Commission warns that fuel and food prices will increase in 2018. Has Australia taken this into account in calculating the allowance each refugee receives? It is more than four weeks since the refugees were forced into Lorengau and many have not received their allowances yet. When will a reliable system for payment begin?

The sky

Dear Prime Minister,

Looking to the sky while being stuck in fences, the sky seems fences too.
— Samad Durrani, 29 December, 2017
Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 10.29.27 pm.png
... in Australia ... the colonial state is founded and sustained as an economic unit on unpaid debts to Aboriginal peoples for lands/waters and resources stolen. ... what do we make of the extreme austerity being perpetrated against refugees on Manus Island and elsewhere by a state that cannot own up to its own sovereign debt?
— Dr Maria Giannacopoulos,

Amnesty now for all refugees and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru.

All refugees in detention are political prisoners

Dear Prime Minister,

The John Butler Trio opened the Amphitheatre at this year's Woodford folk festival. Across the big stage, in view of tens of thousands of people, was the banner 'All refugees in detention are political prisoners.'

In her letter to The Age, Anne Walker writes that:

It was galling to watch and hear the Prime Minister ask us all to be mindful of the welfare of others in this, the “most successful multicultural nation on earth” while we have had people locked up on Manus and Nauru for years in torment and despair.
— Anne Walker, Carlton

And on one of those places of despair, Manus Island, the torment by Australia continues. Forty Australian guards, formerly employed by Wilson Security at the now-closed Manus RPC, have been  re-employed by the new 'security provider', Paladin, at the three refugee centres of ELTC, Hillside and West Haus. Many of these guards have been accused of violence towards the refugees and participated in the destruction of food, water and property in November. It is now more than four weeks since the refugees were forcibly moved from Lombrun to Lorengau, yet the buildings at Hillside and West Haus are still not complete and there is no reliable access to fresh water, food, services, allowances, medicine, medical care or support services.

Who are the 'others' whose welfare you ask us to be mindful of? Only others like us? Or the most vulnerable, who continue to suffer the most, on Manus and Nauru.

A message from Saeed

Dear Prime Minister,

Today, I send a message of peace and friendship to all the politicians of the world. I especially send this to the Australian government. Our refugees do not wish for war and violence with the Australian government. They bring us a lot of damage. But there is no complaint about them. Just they forgot about peace and love. They need our help. Please send us the waves of love and peace. Imagine them in peace and love.
— Saeed, Manus Island, 27 December 2017

Saeed is a better person than I am, Prime Minister. I struggle to send love and peace to the Australian government. However I can pass Saeed's message on to you. What will you do for Saeed in return?