Ali Mirzaei, a refugee who is being detained in Mantra Hotel in Melbourne, was brought to Australia from Manus Island under the now-defunct Medevac law. He sent the following message to Green Left on August 16.
I appreciate very much everything you have done for refugees.
This letter is the only thing I can do to appreciate your efforts.
Thank you for all your sympathy during 7 years of detention after 19 July 2013…
Does detention have good environmental factors? … Hopeless, limbo, depression, stress and so on.
Experience shows personality can change during [this] time…
Morality is the only difference between humans and other creatures. There are five branches for morality: liberty, love, justice, dignity and reality. How many [of these] have been running in detention these last 7 years?
COVID-19 has been a new situation all over the world. What has it brought? Death, stress, lockdown (similar to detention) and so on…
How much family violence has happened? How many mental health problems? How many suicides?
Why has the federal government appointed Ruth Vine to be the first deputy chief medical officer for mental health?
It means that mental health is a serious matter in lockdown, in a short time.
What about refugees over 7 years?
Detention is detention even if it is your own house… Detention affects your personality and morality … The more detention the more negative effect.
Freedom is the right of refugees. Even criminals know the end of their prison time. Some have even been freed because of COVID-19.
I would like to thank organisations, people, refugee advocates, lawyers of Australia who have been working or protesting to release refugees.
Humanitarian efforts remain in history, forever. No-one can destroy history.
Ali Mirzaei, a refugee in the Mantra Hotel, Melbourne
[Ali Mirzaei sent this message to refugee lawyers and some MPs. It has been slightly abridged for publication.]