international law

Show leadership

Dear Prime Minister,

Emeritus Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill (UNSW) was interviewed on Radio NZ today. He reminds us that Australia was integral to solving the Indo-Chinese refugee crisis of the 1970s and 1980s by working closely with other countries in our region. But when Australia's current 'Stop the Boats' regime started there was no resettlement plan for the detainees. Neither Nauru nor Papua New Guinea have the social, political or cultural resources to take refugees detained there. They are not viable options for resettlement. This four-year-long deadlock is due to the mistake of making 'tough' policies which have removed all options. Australia has painted itself into a corner therefore no other country will negotiate with us because we have nothing to offer in return.

Professor Goodwin-Gill challenges Australia to take the opportunity for leadership, in the local region and globally, in the interests of refugees, migrants and countries. There will be no progress unless we co-operate with other countries and obey international law. We must stop playing tough and being arbitrary.

Prime Minister, last week you claimed to be a strong leader. The issue of Australia's refugee and migrant policy gives you an even bigger role for leadership than the Marriage postal survey. Please demonstrate your leadership and find a humane, immediate solution for the men, women and children trapped by Australia on Manus Island and Nauru.

A deal is a deal

Dear Prime Minister,

Last week we were not surprised to learn that the refugee resettlement deal with the US has no substance and is purely for appearances.

Turnbull: ‘... there is nothing more important in business or politics than a deal is a deal. Look, you and I have a lot of mutual friends.’
Trump: [rage] ‘... Suppose I do not take any?’
Turnbull: ‘That is the point I have been trying to make.’
— Analysing Trump-Turnbull Phone X-change:

You used the façade of a deal to buy time to do nothing. All the while, the October 31 deadline in PNG for closing Manus RPC came closer and you could find no other solution. Now we have the men trapped on Manus Island in fear for their lives, without power and water, while Wilson security refuse to do their job because even they are too scared, and yet another predicted and preventable death has happened.

RIP Hamed Shamshiripour. Killed by Australia's violent anti-refugee policy.

On Nauru, the refugees are also trapped in a hostile place with no resources and when they peacefully protest they are beaten and arrested

You have tried to distract us with the Marriage Survey but we will hold you to account. A deal is a deal. Australia co-wrote and signed the Refugee Convention. Keep to the deal and bring all refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia now.

Australia is responsible for Manus Island and Nauru detention centres

Dear Prime Minister,

Australia has “clear and undeniable” responsibility for the physical and psychological damage its illegal offshore detention regime has caused to asylum seekers and refugees, a senior UN official has said.
— Ben Doherty -
The punitive approach adopted by Australia towards migrants who arrived by boat has served to erode their human rights”, Mr. Crépeau said at the end of his first official visit* to Australia. “It is a fundamental principle of human rights law that one person cannot be punished only for the reason of deterring another.
— François Crépeau -

Read the full report here:

Close the camps and bring them here.

Letter from Nauru

Dear Prime Minister,

This letter was posted to Facebook from a detainee on Nauru:

I’m writing to you with lot of frustrations.
We have been here for more than three years and we some of the refugees work for Broadspectrum. The wages for refugees is very low. $4.70 per hour. We agreed to work with that rate but BrS has made another rule for refugee employees. Refugees who work for BrS have no access for income support which was given by ABF. We refugees are being used as slaves. We have no right of freedom and no right of employment. How can we survive in this way?
Why ABF is oppressing us in different ways?
Australian government are running offshore processing centres and using these two offshore processing centres as work place for Australian. We are roughly 1100 Asylum seekers and refugees but the employees from Australia are more than us. What’s the point of creating job opportunities for Australian by detaining refugees and asylum seekers indefinitely?
We are human beings and not animals. We have right to have family but Australian government has snatched our hopes and dignity. Please let us go somewhere else where we will be able to stay safely. please stop torturing us in the name processing.
Your government of Australia are pretending to be good government but in reality, not. How long do we have to keep suffering in order to have our basic rights?
We have come to Australia by boat but Article 31 of the Refugee Convention clearly states that refugees should not be penalised for arriving without valid travel documents.
Could you please share my message with your friends? Thanks.

Slavery as well as illegal detention?

Close the camps and bring them here.

See you in court, Australia

Dear Prime Minister,

What is your response to the document titled "The Situation in Nauru and Manus Island: Liability for crimes against humanity in the detention of refugees and asylum seekers" which has been submitted to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court?

For the 218th man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

Why are the asylum seekers, who have been detained in Darwin since arriving on Thursday, barred from accessing legal assistance? Australia is legally obliged to provide all asylum seekers with the opportunity to apply for asylum.

For the 202nd man on Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

Now that we have further evidence of DIBP's illegal actions, this time in deliberately preventing people who have qualified for citizenship from taking the final step of swearing their oath of citizenship, will you act to remove Minister Dutton from the immigration portfolio and cause a complete overhaul of DIBP? Both Australians and people rightfully seeking refuge here have been greatly damaged by DIBP and Minister Dutton's illegal actions. Please act on this immediately.

For the 200th man on Manus island

Dear Prime Minister,

What is your response to the 108-page submission that has been presented to the International Criminal Court which asks the ICC prosecutor's office to investigate Australia's crimes against humanity in the offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru? That puts Australia in the same company as Congolese warlords and war criminals in South Ossetia.

Close the camps and bring them here.