Negative refugee status

Dear Prime Minister,

What does negative refugee status mean? Does it mean that a person is not a refugee? Listen to Behrouz Boochani:

Today about 25 refugees left Manus Island for America forever and probably more people will fly out in coming weeks. It’s a great feeling when you see the faces of people who were under torture for years who have now gotten freedom. On the other hand it’s very sad when you see the faces of people who are still under torture and don’t know anything about their future. In Manus about 150 people received negative refugee status and are not a part of the deal with America. It’s important to know they were processed unfairly. The process was completely wrong and unfair because it was designed to torture people and they used it as a tool to put pressure on people to force them to go back to their countries. The process was too long and they processed people for years and years while people felt under torture and many were unwell and unable to participate fully in the process. The process was supposed to be for settlement in PNG and because of that a lot of people were afraid to give their cases. Now they have been given negative refugee status even though their cases have never been heard. It’s punishment for people who refused to give their cases to PNG. When the US deal came through the refugees asked immigration to hear their cases but immigration refused. It’s a big punishment by a system that is designed to torture people. At this moment we don’t know what will happen for these 150 people who got negative refugee status under this unfair process. Also about 150 people who received positive refugee status have not yet had any interview for America and we don’t know what will happen to them. The human rights organisations and advocates who are following the situation in Manus should put pressure on the government to make a decision for these people and send them to a safe place or add them to the process with America. It’s very important that while there are a lot of people who are living in an uncertain situation we continue to fight. The government cannot hide behind the deal with America while so many people are still unsafe.

What are you doing to make sure that ALL asylum seekers have their refugee claims assessed fairly and humanely with full legal assistance from Australia?