The Australian Financial Review has revealed that the federal Coalition government awarded a $423 million security and cleaning contract for three Manus Island refugee detention centres to Paladin Group, a company that, at the time, was registered to a Kangaroo Island beach shack.
“This place is like a war zone,” wrote Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist locked up in the Manus Island detention centre, as he exhaustedly began to describe the situation on November 2 – day 2 of the “Manus Island siege”.
Since October 31, 600 desperate men, suffering in more ways than most people can comprehend after more than four years of torture in detention, have barricaded themselves in the centre.
The men in Manus Island detention began their 59th day of protest on September 29, days after a handful of their friends left for the US. They held their tired arms above their heads in a cross, a gesture that has become symbolic of refugee protests in detention.
About 25 of the several hundred men on Manus Island have being offered settlement in the US.
Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time
Written & directed by Arash Kamali Sarvestani & Behrouz Boochani
Chauka, Please Tell Us the Time is a ground-breaking film that gives audiences a new window to look into Manus Island detention centre.
About 150 people joined an emergency protest in Melbourne on April 17 telling the government to bring the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia.
The protest came after sailors from the Papua New Guinea navy fired shots into the detention centre and locals attacked refugees.
Many people suffering in Manus Island and Nauru detention centres are struggling to find hope that their situation will change. One such person is Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist who fled Iran and has become well known for his writings about life in the Manus Island detention centre.
Eaten Fish (Ali Durrani), a 25-year-old Iranian cartoonist began a hunger strike on January 31 in Manus Island detention centre. He has now been on hunger strike for more than two weeks.
The Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) published an open letter on February 5 calling on the federal government to free and resettle Eaten Fish and two other media colleagues, journalist Behrouz Boochani and actor Mehdi Savari.
After three years of murders, hunger strikes, mass protests and forcing people to live in some of the worst conditions imaginable, the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea ruled on April 26 that detaining asylum seekers in the Manus Island Detention Centre is a breach of the country’s constitution.
In the same week, Omid, an Iranian refugee who had been forcibly resettled on Nauru, self-immolated in front of UNHCR inspectors because he could not “take it anymore”.