Walid Zazai

From Manus, a Christmas message

Dear Prime Minister,

Walid Zazai writes to us in Australia. This is his message:

A Christmas message from Manus to homeless people of Australia. Many people saying and think that we can’t feel the pain of homeless people but we do and we care. 🙏🙏🙏

The message,
Here are five attitudes that we feel the Australian government does not use as they deal with asylum seekers in Manus and Nauru not also for homeless people in Australia. I really hope and pray this changes soon.
However even if people, or governments, take away our human rights, take away our liberty or take away our chance to have an income and provide for ourselves and our families, there are many things they cannot take away.
They cannot take away our smiles and our joy, they cannot take away our integrity or our honesty.
They cannot take away our compassion and our care.
And these are qualities we have needed above many temporal conditions here in manus and I am sure also on the streets on Australia.
We have tried our hardest to support each other and care for each other.
We have cried together but we have also sung and danced and laughed together for more often. And we have, and continue to dream of all the good and the helpful and useful ways we can be a blessing in the world.
One day when my freedom comes I have always wanted to, and still hold onto that dream, to be able to help those who are disadvantaged: widows and orphans, homeless and neglected people. Both with my skills in cooking, but also with the income I hope I will earn I want to be a blessing in this world and not a burden.
We all can dream and so I say to myself and to other dream big- not big in houses and cars and money- but big in care and compassion and big in love towards all people.
I would like to say to Australia’s homeless community that we see you as holding much strength, we feel your pain at not having a home to call your own. We know the feeling of missing loved ones and missing home comfort.
We stand with you and we hope for a brighter and more fulfilling in freedom, joy, peace and love in 2018 for you all as we also hope the same for our 2018. We send you much love from Manus.❤❤❤
Happy Merry Christmas 🎄 😍😍😍.
— Walid Zazai 🌹

Save them. Save Australia.

Dear Prime Minister,

What would you do if you were illegally imprisoned and tortured for four years with no sign of release and you heard that people in the country which caused your suffering were in need? Would you give your last $30 to them? That is what Walid Zazai, a young Afghani refugee on Manus Island, has done. He is worried that the hundreds of refugees sent to Australia for medical treatment will be forced to go back to Manus Island and Nauru now that Minister Dutton has cut their $200 per fortnight payments and evicted them from housing. Walid Zazai wants to help save them from the hell he knows all too well there.



Do you endorse this decision of Minister Dutton, whose concept of cost-cutting is to save at most $120,000 per person per year by forcing them back to offshore detention which will cost instead $573,000 per person per year? Every reason of logic, humanity and economics says end offshore detention and bring all the men, women and children detained on Manus and Nauru to safety and freedom.

Again, where is the humanity?

Dear Prime Minister,

This week, Dr U Ne Oo, an Australian citizen, submitted a document titled 'Enslavement in Manus Island and Nauru' to the Office of the Prosecutor of International Criminal Court. The summary of his allegations are as follows:

The Commonwealth Government of Australia has perpetrated the crime against humanity of enslavement of asylum-seekers. A total of 2,200 asylum-seekers, who are of entirely civilian characters have been confined in Manus Island of Papua New Guinea and in Republic of Nauru for four years. The detention companies Broadspectrum and Ferrovial have co-perpetrated in the crime of enslavement. The governments of Papua New Guinea and Republic of Nauru also have co-perpetrated in this crime.
— Enslavement in Manus Island and Nauru, http://www.netipr.org/saorg/node/48
Hamid Kehazaei (24) and Faysal Ahmed (27) died from preventable causes in RPCs.

Hamid Kehazaei (24) and Faysal Ahmed (27) died from preventable causes in RPCs.

In the final section of Dr U Ne Oo's submission titled 'The Crime Against Humanity' he asks 

Where is our humanity? ... Why is it that there is such a deep failure of humanity in these cases ? Why humanity cannot intervene in these cases; when human sufferings and the loss of human lives are being treated like disposable objects ?
— http://www.netipr.org/saorg/node/48

Prime Minister, do you notice this is the same question that Walid Zazai asked in his statement in my letter to you yesterday? Dr U Ne Oo does have an answer:

[In] the case of those asylum-seekers ... the controls tantamount to possession have been applied on those asylum-seekers. ... the perpetrators of enslavement have been exercising all the powers attached to the right of ownership over those asylum-seekers. These tragic deaths are unmistaken indicators of slavery. ...
In slavery, the power of control is so severe and so dark that the humanity – the natural response of human kindness — cannot even come into a shine for its effects. The humanity has been forbidden. Hence, the crime against humanity.
— Dr U Ne Oo

I thank Dr U Ne Oo for his submission to the ICC and ask how can you defend Australia's enslavement of the asylum seekers in offshore detention? When will Australia's humanity be restored and when will full rights, freedoms and restitution be made to the men, women and children on Manus Island and Nauru? Bring them here now.

Where is the humanity?

Dear Prime Minister,

I have asked you in a previous letter 'Where is your humanity? Where is justice?' In the following message from Walid Zazai, an Afghani refugee on Manus Island, he asks the same:

I’m Walid Zazai and I’m from Afghanistan.
I came to Christmas Island, Australia on the 3rd of August 2013.
I was so happy at that time because I felt that I was safe and I was so thankful to the navy officers who saved my life by rescuing us when our boat was leaking. I was on Christmas Island for about 6 months. Then on the 15th January, 2014, I received bad news: I was told that I will be moved to the processing centre on Manus Island in PNG where my claim for asylum would be processed. They also told me, however, that I would never set foot in Australia.
Things soon started to get much harder. It was not long after I arrived on Manus Island that the protests for freedom started. On 16th February at night, the locals rioted and attacked us, with the help of the security contractors “G4S”, who were in charge of security at that time. They wounded about 70 guys. Devastatingly, our beautiful young friend Reza Barati, was murdered by a security officer.
Most of the injured guys were brought to Charlie Compound. All of them had injuries on their heads and all over their faces. These men couldn’t eat because their mouths were wounded. Myself and two other friends were helping the injured men to eat, to move to their beds and to go to the toilet. Whilst I was watching them my heart was bleeding and I cried. Late in the night of the 16th February, they brought in a man who had been hit in the eyes, and his eye was bleeding. You could hear him shouting all the night and finally the next morning he was taken to Port Moresby hospital. Some other guys were just receiving treatment in Charlie such as their bandages being changed. These riots were so terrible and one of the worst events in my life which I will never forget. During the riot I was shifted to Charlie Compound, where I hid with some of my friends and security. To this day, I still have nightmares about that night.
After these riots I started having some mental health issues. I was given sleeping pills which made me feel drunk, and like I was taking drugs. They actually damaged my mental health more so I stopped taking them.
Time kept going on. I was shifted to Delta compound a month after the riot. In Delta compound I shared a room with 2 other friends. I was always crying at night time, because every day was the same, without me being processed. I was told many times to wait for the processing or to go back home. I just had to wait because there was no way I could go back home.
In mid January, 2015, the riots started again after a hunger strike. After 3 days of protests, the Wilson security guards came up with big glasses and riot uniforms. They entered Delta compound from the back gates and started beating us up. Two officers held me with some force by my arms and dragged me to a car. I fainted and when I opened my eyes I was laying down on the ground, with a few nurses moving around here and there. There were lots of wounded.
I remember I could smell food, so I looked back and I saw the Transfield staff who were working there were taking some food from their mess, oblivious and apparently unmoved by our plight. I was shocked! I wondered if they had hearts. If they had hearts surely they would come to us and help and at least give us water. Instead, they just continued eating roasted food and drinking juice.
I looked at the sky and thanked God he hadn’t made me be like those people who saw us being beaten by Australian forces (Wilson) and just kept eating their food. I asked God to keep my heart tender and not to let me get a heart of stone; Not to eat while another human in front of me is in pain.
After a few hours on the ground I could stand up and drink some water, then they put me in a car and drove me to Bravo compound. They kept all the guys from Delta compound there while they were searching Delta.
After an hour there, 3 ERT (Emergency Response Team) officers came and they asked for me. They told me to get into a car and they took me to Chauka - Chauka is a place where they took us for solitary confinement. They put me in a room and took all my stuff. When I asked them why they brought me here, they replied they didn’t know and told me to keep quiet.
The next morning they handcuffed my hands and pushed me in a bus and took me to the police station and put me in a cell there. I was there for about a week. Sleeping on cement, with no pillow, cover, mattress or showers. The toilet there was full of shit and no one could enter there because of the putrid smell. Each day they gave us a small box of food for lunch and for dinner.
After a week, they sent me to the jail where they held some other refugees as well without doing any crime. We had no trial. We were put in jail with no due process and no chance to defend ourselves.
In jail, there were only 2 showers for 60 guys and two toilets, but still nothing to sleep on and still no pillows or mattress. In jail, they also badly beat some of my friends. We were there for about 2 weeks, all up including the police station prison cell, I had spent 19 days in jail.
On the last day in jail, some Wilson security came along with police and threatened us that if you guys make any problems again in detention we will put you in jail and send you back to your country where you come from.
After 19 days they returned me to Chauka where I was told by Wilson Security that I hit an officer with a steel rod. They also said I was throwing rocks at officers. These allegations are not true. I strenuously deny them us untrue. I was never given an opportunity to defend myself or tell my side of the story.
After a night in Chauka, I was moved to Charlie compound which was “Red zone” at that time. Those of us in Charlie were under the supervision of Wilson Security at all times and even when I was going to the toilet they followed me like I was a big criminal. Once a week they took us to do a 20 minute phone call and the security officers escorted us all the way, they were not allowing us to talk to any of our friends in other compounds through the fence. When we tried, officers would kick us and push us to move on.
I have often asked them for the evidence of why they took me to jail, but they have never provided it to me. I was just told that they were investigating. To this day, I am still waiting for this evidence. I’m still waiting for justice.
While I was in Charlie, I again had lots of mental health problems, and was not getting any proper treatment for that. I told them that I was not good, but all the doctor did was suggest I take sleeping pills, so I would feel drugged again.
It was while I was in Charlie Compound, that the immigration asked me to come for the interview for my asylum claim. I was shocked when I got the appointment for my interview, because I was mentally sick. I couldn’t eat well and I had nightmares every night.
The next day when I went to the interview I told immigration that I was not feeling well and didn’t feel capable of having my interview. They replied that I had to have it then. I think God is always with me, as luckily when the interpreter came it was the wrong one and he couldn’t speak my language. They looked for another interpreter but couldn’t find one, so they had to arrange another appointment so they could get an interpreter who could speak my language. After that my mental health got worse, and I couldn’t attend the interview. I explained that I was not feeling well but to please give me some time. I also said I wanted an answer as to why I went to jail without doing any crime. I said, ‘If I did any crime please give me the evidence’. Instead of giving me treatment and answers they rejected my asylum claim without interviewing me. That gave me more shock! When I got the documents that said I had been given non refugee status, I tore the documents up right there in the immigration office.
I was crying every night and asking God for justice because I could see humans in front of me but couldn’t see any humanity. Later, when they gave me a second chance to claim asylum, I got my refugee status.
— Walid Zazai, https://www.facebook.com/behrouz.boochani.7/posts/773846186120824

Prime Minister, when will you end this suffering, restore Australia's humanity and justice, and bring all refugees in offshore detention here?

Free all refugees in offshore detention #354

Dear Prime Minister,

Walid Zazai, one of Australia's many prisoners on Manus Island, has the following questions for Australia:

Q1: What reason do you condemn us? Why do you think we are a danger to your society?
All we want is to live peacefully in Australia in an environment that is safe, rather than the war zones we managed to escape from. We want to care for our families and give back to the Australian community.
Q2: Arriving in Australia by boat without a visa is not illegal in Australian law. Why then do you say we are illegal?
And if we have committed no crime in Australian Law, why them do you treat us as criminals and lock us up indefinitely in detention??
Q3: Financially it makes no sense for us to be here as it would cost the same to properly resettle 12 refugees in Australia as it does to torture one on Manus Island for 12 months.
How can you justify wasting billions of Australian people’s tax payer dollars?
And why do you insist on hiring ill equipped private security rather than employees who would treat us as fellow human beings with kindness and dignity?
Q4: Your legislation dictates that no employee of the Australian immigration department or its contractors are allowed to speak publicly about the environment of refugees on Manus Island.
Why are you so afraid of the Australian public knowing the conditions you keep us in?
Q:5 Australian government, you say you are keeping us here on Manus Island because we came by boat, & you value human lives and want to stop people smuggling. However seeking asylum is a human right for genuine refugees, and what we have experienced here is a violation of human rights by your hands. How do you explain the hypocrisy? If you truly valued human lives would you not value our lives? At least 5 men have died by these policies, what about their lives? What about our lives?
— Walid Zazai

Prime Minister, how do you answer Walid Zazai?