27 Jan 2017

Australia Day no cause for celebration - refugee

7:38 am on 27 January 2017

A refugee detained by Australia on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island says Australia Day is no cause for celebration.

Australians observed their national day yesterday as news reached refugees that US President Donald Trump will suspend refugee resettlement.

Manus Island detention centre

Manus Island detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani.

The news has thrown into doubt a deal struck between Canberra and the US to resettle refugees detained on Nauru and Manus Island.

The refugee from Iran, Amir Taghinia, said while he languishes in prison, Australia Day should not be festive.

"Australia's day is actually day of genocide. They have killed many people, they have taken children away from their families when westerners came to Australia," he said.

"This day is not a day that you can call it a celebration day."

"This day was the day that the Aboriginal land was occupied. They have put us in prison because they have this culture."

Amir Taghinia said he had been detained on Manus Island for four years without trial.

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