Dear Prime Minister,
Australia's torture of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru takes many forms. Behrouz Boochani, other detainees, advocates and agencies continue to report on the torture applied by withholding healthcare. Apart from instances such as detainees having to remove their own teeth due to no dental care, there is the particular cruelty of using health issues to separate families and then keeping them separated to inflict more suffering.
Today's Guardian (20.6.2017) reports on a father and son stranded on Nauru while the mother and daughter have been in Brisbane for three years for medical treatment. All four have been formally recognised as refugees. The son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is under watch in case of harming himself or others. Psychiatrists who have seen him on Nauru recommend that he be transferred to Australia for treatment and to be reunited with his mother. However the government's policy (that is, your government, Prime Minister) is that it will
"only approve medical transfers if refugees are likely to face permanent disability or death."
The details of the family's situation described in the article, compounded by their indefinite separation, are horrific. It is completely unacceptable that Mike Pezzullo did not respond to questioning about families being separated when he appeared before Senate estimates in May. As Ian Rintoul says, family separation is deliberately punitive and the family members left behind on Nauru are being used as hostages. The father of this separated family says
"All I want to do is join my family, I want them to be treated, I don't want anything else."
Prime Minister, bring them here.