ABF head sacked

Dear Prime Minister,

After 11 months suspension (on full salary) Roman Quaedvlieg is sacked for making 'wilfully or recklessly false statements.'

After Priya's visa renewal didn't arrive in the mail on time, she, her husband and their two baby daughters were imprisoned by ABF within 5 HOURS of their deadline.

Where is justice?

Do more for Manus

Dear Prime Minister,

Australia has forced the people of Manus Island to accommodate 600+ men on their small island. Despite Australian promises, the Manusians have seen no new hospital, no improved infrastructure (apart from a new police station) and no support to absorb this sudden 10% increase in population.

In the immediate term, Manus needs Australia's material support. But ultimately the refugees are Australia's responsibility. Bring them to safety and freedom now.

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.

Where is the justice?

Dear Prime Minister,

Today was the 41st day of peaceful protest by the refugees at Manus Island detention centre. These men are surviving in a half-demolished camp, with no power, no medicine, no clean drinking water and little food. One of their protest signs reads:

Turnbull has sworn on Bible to follow the law, but where is the justice?

What is your response, Prime Minister?

Day 41 of peaceful protest on Manus Island by refugees illegally detained by Australia since 2013.

Day 41 of peaceful protest on Manus Island by refugees illegally detained by Australia since 2013.

Have mercy. Four years too many.

Dear Prime Minister,

Today is the fourth anniversary of indefinite offshore detention of refugees by Australia. More than 2000 refugees, including 196 children, have endured physical violence including murder, sexual abuse, torture, medical neglect causing disability and death, catastrophic mental health damage, self-harm and suicide attempts, all of which still continue. Any one of these outrages against humanity should be enough to have shamed and shocked the government into bringing all the detainees to safety immediately. How can Australia call itself a democratic civil society when the wishes of the majority and the rule of law are blatantly disregarded?

The thousands of people who have attended tonight's vigils, the many more who also think of the refugees and advocate for justice and the refugees themselves who continue to speak and write, will not be silenced. End the torture, corruption and lies and bring all detainees on Manus Island and Nauru to freedom and safety now.

The Commonwealth of Australia is taken to court

Dear Prime Minister,

Was it coincidence that the detainees on Manus Island have had all access to computers removed at the very time when the court case in which they are plaintiffs is about to be live-streamed?

A class action seeking damages for people detained at the Manus Island immigration detention centre will begin this week.

Fifty current and former Manus Island detainees, including 41 people who remain in Papua New Guinea, will give evidence as part of Australia’s largest trial concerning immigration detention.

The six-month trial was scheduled to start in the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, but a judge granted a request by all parties to delay it until Wednesday.

The 1905 class action group members are seeking compensation for alleged physical and psychological injuries they argue they suffered as a result of the conditions in which they were held on Manus Island.

The current and former detainees want additional damages for false imprisonment after the PNG Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was unconstitutional.

The Australian government and the companies that have managed the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre, G4S Australia and Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield Services), deny the claims.

The judge-only trial will hear from 41 current or former Manus Island detainees who remain in Papua New Guinea, as well as 11 former Manus detainees who are currently being held in some form of detention in Australia.
— http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/05/29/brief-delay-manus-island-class-action

This court case is expected to take six months. Any person not directly involved in the case will be able to watch it, live. Do you admire the bravery of the refugees who are prepared to be witnesses, to endure hostile questions, while they struggle to survive in detention?

Is this our refugee assessment process?

Dear Prime Minister,

Azzam el Sheikh describes his refugee status assessments in 2014 which resulted in a negative status.

The first time they changed what I said. When I asked them to check the recorded voice they refused. They said ‘make an appeal’.
The last meeting with immigration I asked them to check the situation in Lebanon. and public security. I said, ‘You are the person who will make the decision if I get deported or not.’ He said yes. I said, ‘Where is Lebanon? Which continent?’ He said, Africa. I said, ‘Which countries do we have as borders?’ He said, I do not know. I said, ‘How many parties do we have?’. He said he did not know. I said, ‘Do you know how many people have guns?’ No. I said, ‘Do you know the number of people who have guns not under the army or government?’ No. I said, ‘’How can you make a decision then if you don’t know anything?’
They have a recording of that too.
They do not use any rules. I said get that recording. Australia has that. If it says I’m a liar I’ll go back on same day.
For no reason. They reject us for no reason.
— By Azzam el Cheikh 6 May 2017.

Close the camps. Bring them here.

End offshore detention #240

Dear Prime Minister,

On Thursday afternoon, after writing my letter to you about Omid Masoumali's widow, Pari, I rang Peter Dutton's parliamentary office. I had four brief points to be passed on to Minister Dutton. However the woman who answered the phone, instead of simply taking my message, argued with me over each point. I have briefly summarised the phone call here. My point today is in response to the final things she said to me before she hung up: that since Australia has not been found guilty in a court of law then we are free to continue doing what we like to the detainees on Manus and Nauru.

Prime Minister, is this the basis of Australia's legal system, that we do what we like until we are prosecuted and found guilty? This is not a letter about DIBP. It is a letter about Australia. Can we do anything we like? Can the Australian government take any action it wants to against any person or group?

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth

Dear Prime Minister,

Listen to Aziz.

We protest, on Palm Sunday and every day, until the offshore detention centres are closed and the asylum seekers held there, and all the asylum seekers in Australia who are still in limbo, have been settled and compensated. Close the camps and bring them here.

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.

Letters to Tyranny #48

Dear Prime Minister,

My 48th letter is written on behalf of Aadil who is only 25 years old. He had to give up his fashion business and leave his girlfriend behind when he fled Iran. The injustice and cruelty we inflict on Aadil is bad enough but it also injures his family and friends.

The detainees are connected to thousands of others who depend on, love and care for them and whose lives are also on hold as long as the detention centres stay open. End off shore detention and bring the young entrepreneur Aadil and all detainees to Australia.

Yours faithfully

Ruth Halbert

Letters to Tyranny #46

Dear Prime Minister,


On behalf of Junaid aged 24, from Burma, on what possible grounds can you defend his incarceration on Manus Island? Junaid is stateless. His desperate journey to Australia was an appeal for refuge which had no alternative.

Countries with far fewer resources than Australia give refuge to many more people than will ever try to arrive here. 150000 asylum seekers were accepted into Sweden last year alone yet Sweden's population is less than 10 million. We hide the few asylum seekers (less than 3000!) in concentration camps offshore because of a political lie about "deterrence" and because of white Australia's racism, now directed towards Muslims. Prime Minister, resettle the refugees in Australia so that Junaid can finally be free to work and marry. To have a life.

Yours faithfully

Ruth Halbert