Amnesty International

Refoulement

Dear Prime Minister,

Refoulement is a crime against humanity. Nine Bangladeshi men have been removed from Manus to Bomana jail in Port Moresby. Why are they being deported now?

Why has Australia ignored calls by UNHCR that 500 of the 2000 people detained by Australia on Manus and Nauru need a review of their refugee status? The imminent deportation of these nine Bangladeshi men, without proper judicial process, is refoulement. As Kate Schuetze of Amnesty International warns, the men must be given opportunity to appeal especially after being locked up for five years. They are Australia's responsibility.

Sack Minister Dutton

Dear Prime Minister,

Why have you not sacked Minister Dutton yet? He has repeatedly been shown to be a liar. His department has mis-handled contracts and not accounted for billions of dollars of spending. Senior positions, such as the ABF Chief Medical Officer, are vacant. The head of the ABF, Roman Quaedvleig, has been on paid leave for undisclosed misdemeanours for 8 months.

Judging by the media statements on the Minister of Home Affairs website, he can't even employ people to write grammatically correct, coherent press statements. In a media statement dated 31.10.2017 it says:

'The constant claims of IMAs [sic] and advocates' [sic] about their situation [whose situation? The advocates'?] in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.'

This is another lie. Most recently Amnesty International are one of the numerous agencies and individuals to disagree:

'The PNG authorities have previously failed to protect the refugees from violent attacks or hold perpetrators accountable for violence. No one has faced charges following an incident in April 2017 when the military fired shots directly into the refugee camp, endangering people’s lives. Other complaints of violence have not been independently investigated by the authorities or resulted in accountability, fuelling a culture of impunity.'

Sack Minister Dutton. And follow the urgent recommendation by Kate Schuetze of Amnesty International that 'Australia should bring the refugees to its shores, accept a New Zealand offer to take on 150 of the men and look for additional resettlement options.'

On behalf of the 553rd man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

After nearly five years Australia has provided no viable or sustainable option for the refugees it forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea.

Amnesty now for all men, women and children detained by Australia on Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Bring them all to freedom and safety now.

End offshore detention #406

Dear Prime Minister,

I support Amnesty International's campaign to protect vulnerable refugees detained on Manus Island. Amnesty asks that Australia does the following:

  • Immediately bring all asylum seekers and refugees to Australia;
  • Ensure that all those granted refugee status have the right to settle in Australia or another country;
  • Stop any actions or policies that put refugees on Manus Island at risk of further harm;
  • Ensure adequate medical care for all refugees and asylum seekers suffering injuries and trauma;
  • Urge the Papua New Guinean authorities to open an independent, impartial investigation into the death of Hamed Shamshiripour and other refugees on Manus Island, and into the reported attacks.

What steps are you taking to meet Amnesty's call to protect the asylum seekers in offshore detention?

For the 133rd man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

Mr Imran Mohammad, a Rohingya man and refugee from Burma, has been awarded first prize in the Amnesty International Australia's Blogging Competition 2016. This is his winning blog entry:

I’m a passionate young writer incarcerated by the Australian Government for over three years on Manus Island, PNG. This indefinite offshore processing centre has ensured the loss of the rights of refugees in a world of power, greed and cruelty. Compassion, love and equality have died, along with human rights. I search my mind for the crimes that I committed; I come up with nothing.

I question what has happened to this world where refugees – among the most vulnerable people in the world – are treated like animals.

For the Rohingya ethnic group, creating a sense of identity is a difficult task. My ancestors have lived in Rakhine, Myanmar for generations. However, our country won’t acknowledge our existence. We’re known as illegal migrants in our own land, stateless people. Many people in this world take for granted that they can get a passport, but we are denied this right.

We are not even given a birth certificate or any other documentation to prove our citizenship. Rohingyan people are denied freedom of movement, access to social services and more importantly, education. Tragically we are victims of unprovoked violence, spread by fear, ignorance and hate. When a government doesn’t allow media or international visitors, the world should question this. They would be horrified; women and girls are raped, brothers buried alive and young boys killed.
Everything was snatched from me one dark night. I was threatened with death and fled my country. I lost everything precious to me; I couldn’t hug my mother for the last time.

I embarked on a journey in search of a place to rest my head in peace. There was no other way to leave Myanmar except by boat in the middle of the night. I crossed the ocean for 15 days from Bangladesh to Malaysia. I left Malaysia after experiencing so much cruelty in a few months. I arrived in Indonesia in 2012 and devastatingly, I was imprisoned for two years.
I was recognised as a genuine refugee by UNHCR. I waited for so long but I was stuck in limbo with no hope of a visa, no way to support myself. I was sure I would die if I stayed. In October 2013, I boarded a boat to Australia. I was detained on Christmas Island until against my will, I was moved to Manus Island Detention Centre which was clearly built for intentional torture.
The Australian government never had a plan to resettle refugees in PNG and the PNG Supreme Court found this camp illegal under its constitution. Again I was given refugee status by PNG, yet I am still imprisoned behind high fences. My friends who came with me on the same boat are free in Australia. We are not welcome in this country. I’ve lived in great fear since I arrived and as proof we are unsafe, I was beaten inside the detention centre during the 2014 riot.
There is no end date and my future remains unclear. All I receive from Australian Government is constant, endless torture.

I’m a refugee who refuses to surrender my hope. I hold on to my belief in humanity and freedom. I never got the chance to attend school or university; these words in English are my own – painstakingly studied with limited resources.

I have the power to give a voice for those who are voiceless. I survived the worst of life on the gift of love, the key to human survival. All I need is a chance to raise my voice on behalf of the millions of refugees to advocate for their right to live the life they deserve.
— https://www.amnesty.org.au/i-refuse-to-surrender-my-hope-imran-mohammad/

This is Imran Mohammad's bio:

My name is Imran Mohammad and I am 22 years old. I was born in Myanmar, where I didn’t receive any of my human rights. I have been locked up in Manus Island offshore prison, behind tall wire fences, for over 3 years. My future plans are to set up an organisation that will work for refugees. It will build shelters in places where nothing exists to protect women from being raped, save older people and children from dying. For now, I have my passion to write and this will keep me strong.
— https://www.amnesty.org.au/i-refuse-to-surrender-my-hope-imran-mohammad/

Mr Turnbull, close the offshore detention centres and restore all the detainees to full rights, entitlements and compensation. Bring them here.

End offshore detention. Bring them here. #81

ABC Lateline: Amnesty International describes the regime on Nauru (created and paid for by Australia) as torture.

Newsweek: Australia's refugee policies are designed to inflict as much harm as possible.

and even at PopSugar: Sandra Bartlett, a former Connect Settlement Services worker has spoken about the terrible conditions on Nauru.

Meanwhile DIBP departmental secretary Mike Pezullo played word games in Committee when questioned by Senator McKim while coalition Senator McDonald tittered.

And all you can do is feebly repeat the threadbare lie: "offshore detention stops the boats".

Close the camps. Bring them here.