11 Oct 2017

Manus Island detainees offered 'another hell'

1:51 pm on 11 October 2017

First Person - The Australian government should feel ashamed of its offer to transfer refugees detained on Manus Island to its other detention centre on Nauru, writes Kurdish journalist and detainee Behrouz Boochani.

The note posted in the Manus detention centre.

The note posted in the Manus detention centre. Photo: Behrouz Boochani

Immigration put up a notice in the Manus Island detention centre saying refugees in the US resettlement process can now apply for transfer to Nauru.

The refugees can apply until 23 October and the Nauruan government will make a decision about whether to accept them or not.

It is the latest political trick to get the refugees out of the Manus centre, because they have not left despite the government's efforts to push them out in the past few months.

I talked with the refugees and they are saying they do not want to go to Nauru and they do not trust this government.

It is completely unacceptable that after more than four years the Australian government still refuses to solve the problem by taking the refugees to a safe place and instead is trying to send them to another hell.

Every member of the Australian government should feel ashamed. It is against human rights and violates international laws.

The people in Manus have been recognised as real refugees and under international law should be allowed to start a new life in a safe place.

They deserve to have this basic right.

Meanwhile, the demolition of the Manus detention centre is continuing while the refugees are still inside.

Yesterday, the authorities demolished another part of the detention centre and the workers are trying hard to demolish more sections.

I have received news that they plan to demolish the kitchen (mess) in the coming days to put more pressure on the refugees to leave the detention centre and accept life in PNG.

At the same time, local people had a meeting and want to hold a protest in Lorengau town because they do not want the refugees in their small community.

The Australian government must take the refugees to a safe place and stop putting pressure on them.

They do not want to leave the detention centre to live in PNG or Nauru where they have no safety.

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