Corruption on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

Radio NZ reports that the refugees detained on Nauru have had some of their meagre services taken away. Host International, who provides services for the refugees, has had to divert funds away from refugees to help pay for the lavish celebrations of Nauru's 50 years of independence. Most of the funds are spent on the Nauruan elite.

Where is the accountability? How much of the money Australia spends on Nauru goes to the refugees? How much goes to the Nauruan citizens? How much goes to Baron Waqa and the elite?

Let them go

Dear Prime Minister,

Today's report from Refugee Action Coalition (Vic)

Today, local land owners blocked the road to East Lorengau Transit Centre in protest against ABF, IHMS, ICSA and JDA. One of the refugees who attempted to leave was threatened with a knife. 
All medical care, ability to buy medicine, buy food and all other services has been put on hold.
The ill will the Australian government has generated in PNG has a long history. The Australian man who helped murder Reza Berati and all other Australian personnel involved in the assaults and attacks on people over the 17th and 18th of February 2014 have never faced justice. The three Australian guards allegedly drugged and gang raped a local employee in June 2015 were spirited away despite the request of local police to interview them. Local employees were/are paid a fraction that Australian employees were/are paid. The reputation of Manus has been tarnished by Australia’s detention regime. Despite the ruling of PNG courts that detention was illegal, Australia maintained the fiction that it was PNG’s responsibility to close the detention centre while simultaneously controlling any chance of third country resettlement. 
The Australian government not only holds refugees in contempt, they hold smaller or poorer countries such as PNG and Nauru in contempt and have shown themselves prepared to actively corrupt, destabilise and interfere in the democracies of our nearest neighbours.
— Refugee Action Coalition (Vic)

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

No health care on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister

Listen to the recorded conversation between a refugee on Nauru and his doctor, who has tried for 10 months to get him an urgent MRI. The doctor says 'the medical system here is broken.'

Mark Colvin said, in his interview with Richard Fidler, to ask the simple questions. Good advice.

Who benefits when the Nauru hospital refuses to provide refugee patients with prescribed healthcare?

How much is the Government of Nauru paid to deny overseas referrals for gravely ill refugees?


Dengue fever on Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

What was the outcome of the crisis meeting between Australian Border Force, IHMS and the Nauruan government in February about the dengue fever outbreak on Nauru?

What is Australia doing to protect the health of the detainees, the refugees in the community, Australian staff and Nauruans?


For the 217th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

The two immigration bills (“visa ban bill”, formally the Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 and Migration Amendment (Visa Revalidation and Other Measures) Bill 2016) currently before Federal parliament are frightening. They give the Immigration Minister even more power to make decisions without government accountability and beyond the review of the courts. He will be able to act for political, personal or corrupt reasons. I am concerned for the suffering that may further be inflicted on immigrants and asylum seekers. I am also afraid that people who wish to use these corruptible flaws in Australia's immigration system for their own purposes will have increased opportunity to do so.

For the 177th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

My letters to you are about the immorality and inhumanity of Australia's persecution of our fellow humans in offshore detention. But there is also a shocking financial cost to our regimes on Manus Island and Nauru.

The auditor's report (Jan 2017) found that $2.2bn was spent by DIBP on offshore processing without appropriate/any approval.

$1.1bn was approved by DIBP officers who did not have the required authorisation; and for the remaining $1.1bn there was no departmental record of who authorised the payments.

This is a recurrence of the same irresponsible and profligate spending that the audit office condemned DIBP about in September 2016. End the financial burden of this regime and close the camps.

Letters to Tyranny #52

Dear Prime Minister,

My main concern with offshore detention is the terrible damage it has done and continues to do to the victims detained there. But there are many other problems which are getting worse. The companies that the Australian government has contracted to provide (or fail to provide) services in the camps are one-by-one withdrawing despite the vast amounts of money ($5.6 BILLION) spent on them. After Ferrovial/Broadspectrum and Wilson Security withdrew earlier this year now Connect Settlement Services have also announced that they quit. Meanwhile the Australian National Audit Office has written a damning report on DIBP. There is no single aspect of offshore detention which is acceptable: in terms of cost, morality or for Australia's international reputation.

Close the camps. Bring them here.

Ruth Halbert