Many asylum seekers had hoped a Labor government, having supported the medical evacuation law (Medivac) and agreed to accept New Zealand's offer to resettle 150 people a year, would mean an end to six years of torture. The election result has killed that hope, writes Zebedee Parkes.
Manus Island and Nauru
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “I stopped these [boats]” desk trophy is symbolic of his government’s callous disregard for human rights. But you can be sure that Morrison won’t be stopping the Nauruan government from kicking Mؘédicins Sans Frontières (MSF/Doctors Without Borders) off Nauru.
Within days of Nauru’s decision that MSF’s mental health services would “no longer be required”, news came through that an Iranian detainee on Nauru had self-harmed by swallowing washing powder.
The Australian Border Force is an authoritarian and undemocratic body that does not serve the interests of ordinary people in Australia. It should be abolished.
Five years since the reopening of the refugee torture centres on Manus Island and Nauru, the results are clear. Refugees have suffered cruel and unusual punishment which has: not saved lives at sea, not “stopped the boats” and not benefited ordinary Australians.
There is a global refugee crisis. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported last year that there are at least 22.5 million people seeking asylum across state borders and tens of millions more have been internally displaced.
The numbers are growing as more people become displaced due to conflict and environmental disasters.
In response, from New York to Berlin to Sydney, leading political parties are building walls, figuratively and literally, instead of coming up with humane solutions.
Members of Armidale Rural Australians for Refugees and the Socialist Alliance New England branch held their third weekly picket in solidarity with refugees and asylum seekers at a busy intersection in Armidale, New South Wales, on September 22. It followed a successful action on September 15.
Protest organiser Bea Bleile said: “Manus Island and Nauru are not safe for refugees and asylum seekers. We call on the Australian government to bring all refugees and asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru to Australia immediately.
Newcastle Students Against Detention (SAD) culture jammed the University of Newcastle’s rebranding launch on May 15, putting pressure on the administration to cut ties with Broadspectrum which runs Australia’s detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.
The students were leaked the designs which they parodied to better reflect the University of Newcastle’s (UON) odious business ties, and stuck them over the official ones.
The rebranding focused on the word “New”, so SAD made posters stating: “New Abuses. New Human Rights Violations. Lose Your Ethics at UON.”
“AT 1330, ASYLUM SEEKER [REDACTED] APPROACHED SAVE THE CHILDREN (SCA) CASEWORKER (CW) [REDACTED] IN THE MESS AT RPC3. [REDACTED] WAS CRYING AND WAS OBSERVED TO BE VERY SHAKEN. [REDACTED] AND [REDACTED] SAT OUTSIDE WHERE [REDACTED] REPORTED THAT A WILSONS SECURITY GUARD HAD JUST HIT HIM.”