Iranian-Kurdish journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani has been detained on Manus Island for almost five years. The theme of home in the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s campaign to Change the Policy was inspired by Behrouz, whose vision of home is “humanity”.
Manus Island detention centre
An Iranian refugee held on Nauru, who has been diagnosed as being at “imminent risk of … heart attack or sudden death”, is refusing to leave Nauru to go to a hospital that can treat her because the Australian Border Force (ABF) has refused her young son permission to go with her.
Doctors have requested five times since September 2016 that Fatemeh be moved to a hospital off Nauru for heart checks that cannot be performed on the island. But she is refusing to leave her 16-year-old son unaccompanied on the island.
As the tropical sun set over Manus Island detention centre on November 23, Walid Zazai wrote on Twitter for the final time that night. He reflected on the day as:
“A day of horror. A day of fear. A day I will never forget.
“I thought I’m back in Afghanistan in a war zone. There was no way to hide, just the sky.
“Friends have been beaten, have been taken by force to town centres.
“Don't know what will happen tomorrow. Remember us in your prayers.”
Four hundred men are still protesting in the Manus Island detention centre. They are calling for nothing less than their freedom and will not move to another centre on the Island. They have held out since the Australian government shut down the centre and removed services on October 31.
November 15 was the 107th consecutive day of protest on Manus Island since the Australian government announced it would close the centre.
Seven facts about the crisis in the Manus Island detention centre that the media refuse to report.
Hundreds of refugee activists gave a voice to the men in the abandoned Manus Island detention centre at a rally in Perth on November 5 organised by the Refugee Rights Action Network WA.
The 600 men remaining on Manus Island have been deprived food, water and medical aid since the centre’s closure on October 30.
They read out messages from six of the men using a ‘human microphone’, when one person reads a sentence and the crowd repeats it. Below are the messages they read out.
If there is one thing I have learnt from being involved in this campaign over the past decade, it is that seeing people protesting, known that someone cares about you and is watching, has always made a difference to people suffering in detention.
“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.
Protests are continuing in Manus Island detention centre as refugees resist the Australian government's plans to move them to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre. Two refugees have died since August and numerous others have been attacked by locals in East Lorengau.
After more than four years of systemic torture, six deaths and the Papua New Guinea Supreme court ruling its presence unconstitutional, Manus Island detention centre and the fate of the several hundred men in it, is coming to a head.
The Australian government is ramping up its efforts to close the centre by the end of October, demolishing the centre around the several hundred men it is leaving stranded on Manus Island.