Letters from Nauru refugees: 'We are not being given fair treatment'

October 22, 2012
A drawing by an asylum seeker held on Nauru.

Refugees held in the Nauru detention camp have authored several letters detailing the conditions and despair they are now experiencing in the detention camp, where hunger strikes, self-harm, and disease and ill-health have erupted in just a few weeks.

Three letters are republished below with minimal edits.


October 22:
Nauru refugee camp today at 10am in charge of all interviews held with representatives.

Consequently, this discussion was so ridiculous and unacceptable. Not only [were] our corner of the demands offered empty promises, but we were disappointed from any dialogue.

For example, the corner of our wishes and note their answers:
1. Presence of human rights organizations in Nauru.
[Response]: Points raised for the purchase of stores.

2. Stop sending asylum seekers to Nauru. 355 out of 520 people will increase
(Each person has a bed 80 x 200 cm 5 people living in a tent 10 meters is it possible?)

3. Starting the migration process.
[Response]: military officials said up to you to bring home some extra books

4. Return to Australian soil
[Response]: In case of the slightest threat to this problem, the government of Nauru has all the security issues and the law will deal with you.

October 21:
Asylum seekers Nauru
To whom it may concern
The government of Australia and human rights

There is a big difference between criminal and asylum seekers, but the Australian does not take care of the difference between asylums seekers of Nauru camp, Darwin and Curtin camp, are treated differently.

As a human being in this critical condition, we are not being given the fair treatment, which affect us physically and mentally. This bitter reality tortures us 24 hours, means all days. In our home land we were in a danger of being tortured physically, but here we are facing mental torture which are affecting us mentally.

All these sorrowful information have been provided to world through telephone, mails and email but haven’t been given any response.

Today we all got together to declare that we will continue our gathering until getting our rights. The following are our demands.

1) The most important appeal is that if Australian Government should have attention to our cases and take us back to Australia.
2) We request the Australia Government to visits us and see us in bad condition of our lives.
3) Turn the boats back instead of sending asylum seeker to the Hell (they will find another safe way for their self).
4) We accept Australia as a democratic country, where people are being treated equally and as a human being, we expect the same treatment.

At last we want to thanks people who help us …

October 17:
In the name of God
From: Oppressed and helpless refugees (Nauru Island)
To: all FREE and Liberated Human Beings
The statements of all the refugees from the camp (Purgatory) Nauru to people all over the world.

We are living in bad conditions that are not just any man can not live in it, these condition are not suitable for animals.

Out of this condition we have protested in the detention centre but it fell on the deaf ears.

We asked at the end of the protests:
First and foremost, Take us to Australian soil. (Under Refugee Convention, Australia is obliged to assess those who seek asylum here on Australian soil).

Second, we wanted to start the immigration process by the Australian Government Department of Immigration as we told by DIAC (where we are, with the passing of the great dangers that we had taken refuge).

The third is called closing the Nauru camp (because no one would be able to survive in these inhumane conditions).

Today we were on the Protest. Nobody is ready for listening to our voice. The Cry (chants/slogans) of the Protest was: Don't kill the humanity, Don't kill the refugees, Close the Nauru, Don't make us Crazy, We need our Life, We need Freedom and Respect the Humanity.

To support the refugees held on Nauru, visit their Facebook page.

Related coverage: Refugee rights

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