From Manus Prison

Behrouz Boochani

From Manus prison:

Behrouz Bouchani

Yesterday the evidence of shocking abuse of teenage prisoners in the Northern Territory juvenile detention shook Australia. Straight away the Prime Minister announced a Royal Commission and the Northern Territory Corrections Minister was sacked. That is important and valuable that a big part of the society has a strong reaction about human rights abuses in juvenile detention.

But there is a big question and that is, why Australian politicians and people don’t care about those reports that international organisations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UN committee against torture, and also the Australian Senate inquiry published about abuse, assaults, rapes and torture in Australian prisons in Manus and Nauru.

I give you an example. George Brandis says the Royal Commission about juvenile detention should ask many important things. Why was such brutal mistreatment of detainees allowed to happen? Is there a culture of abuse? Why was earlier evidence of serious problems not acted on enough? And did those people who did the abuse even understand they had a duty of care? These questions are so important and I have a question for this man and other Australian politicians.

Why do you never ask these questions about Manus and Nauru?


It shows that you don’t believe in human rights, and only use this concept for political aims. I mean that the human rights concept is only a cover for your political games and I wonder why Australian people don’t think deeply about the political actions of their politicians.

Human rights is a global value and we don’t have this right to discriminate between people. I know Aboriginal people in Australia are so discriminated against and that must change. They are human, and refugees in Manus and Nauru are human, and there is not any difference between people everywhere. I think that this discrimination shows us that moral values are completely collapsed in Australia and western countries.

We can not say that we believe in human rights and principles, and make discrimination between people. This kind of discrimination directly affects global values and it is dangerous for our civilization. Abuse of any person is wrong, and we need Australian governments to stop abusing people in juvenile detention, and in Manus and Nauru too.

Another point is that this is the best time for Australia to think deeply about the prison concept and find an answer for this question – why is prison a big part of Australian culture?

This a big moment when people and media should continue to ask this question because I know that the politicians are only trying to hide that this is happening under some moral words, and be sure that if Australia does not find an answer this kind of abuse and violence will happen again and again.

Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish refugee who fled Iran, in danger of his life. He sought protection in Australia but has been incarcerated on Manus Island in immigration detention since 2013.

Nauru = Manus = Nauru = Hell

Nauru was once called Pleasant Island… before Australia among others mined the shit out of it, literally Nauru had great amounts of guano (phosphate) from thousands of birds gangster chillin’ on this land mass in the middle of the ocean. While it’s pleasant for the locals it’s not pleasant for refugees who live in appalling conditions and have no prospects on this tiny place.

While they’re not on Nauru, the refugees on Manus are also in a shitty place. They’ve started protesting too… calling for freedom.

*Breaking* Protest on Manus

manusprotests14052016

Happening on Manus Island at the moment. A protest has also been held on Nauru and we will publish a video later.

From Kurdish Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani –

Manus prison is protesting now.All prisons are shouting to Australia that this place is illegal. We are saying that Australia exiled us to this hell by force, has kept us in this prison by force, by threatening us and with much humiliation.

We are asking for freedom. This is our right and the right of any human. We are saying : stop killing people,stop torturing people and stop your cruel policy. We are protesting in loud voices.
This protest shows that still we are alive and strong. We are determined to get our human rights. This protest shows that you can never defeat us and break our determination.

We are asking the world’s people, human rights organizations and independent media to hear our voice, to publicise our voice and think deeply about this inhumane policy that Australia is doing.

This protest is peaceful, the same as our big hungerstrike that we had last year. We don’t need violence because we know what is right. Australia put us in the jail and beat us because of our calling for freedom and our rights.
Australia must respect our peaceful protest at this time. Australia has responsibility for us.

Australia and its Colonial Operations

cropped-bloodonyourhands.jpg

by Behrouz Boochani

Yesterday evening an Iranian man wanted to kill himself by cutting his neck. I posted some words about his action but people did not pay serious attention to him. I reported what was happening to him to media and other organisations.

This man claims that an Australian officer beat him and punched him. He wrote a complaint to the PNG police. He was very angry because after a few days he was still not able to access police and put his complaint to them. Yesterday, the officer who punched him was about to leave Manus and his complaint had not been given to the PNG police as he had asked.

This system and these companies, Broadspectrum and Wilson Security do not allow people access to the PNG police, they do not pass on our complaints either. Any staff member who commits a crime is assisted by these organisations and, I believe, the Australian government to leave Manus without going to court.

Remember the officers who raped a local Manusian woman. They were flown out of Manus and were never questioned or charged, or taken to the PNG court. Remember those staff members who helped Joshua to kill Reza Baratti? They were also flown off Manus and never returned to face court.

I, myself, had a suspicious accident when a basketball board fell on my head. I wrote several requests asking to access the PNG police so they could investigate. Again they did not pass on my request or allow me access to the PNG police.

I want to say that all of these happenings are because of colonial thinkings. Australia is exercising colonial power in and against PNG. We can see this too in Australia’s reaction after the PNG Supreme court hearing.

Australia does not want to accept the Supreme court order. Only in a colonial system can you commit a crime and not go to court.

Australia continues its colonial system against Aboriginal people in Australia and now also in PNG.

I believe that yesterday was a very important day because we understood clearly how the Australian government is ruling its prisons in Manus and Nauru under a colonial system.

 

Update on the protests by refugees at the Australian government’s detention center on Nauru

 Iranian man Omid who self immolated is feared brain dead.

Update via Insurrection News 28.04.16: For 40 days now refugee families detained in the RPC3 compound at the Australian government’s offshore refugee detention center on Nauru have been staging daily protests against the conditions of their detention and to demand that they be granted asylum in Australia. On 14.04.16. the protesting refugees wrote an open letter to the people of Australia calling on them to take action and protest in solidarity with them. The response from people in Australia has been fairly muted – some small protests and solidarity actions by small but dedicated groups of refugee solidarity activists have taken place but nothing on a large scale as of yet. The fact that Australia’s mainstream media are pretty much ignoring the protests is also a huge problem that only adds to the refugee’s overall sense of isolation and abandonment.

In the past two weeks the situation has escalated dramatically on Nauru. On 19.04.16. an Iranian Kurd refugee was arrested and charged by Nauru police after he tried to self-immolate. The man was distraught due to the fact that his one year old child has become severely mentally ill due to the conditions at the detention center. On 27.04.16. detainee ‘QLN027’ began a hunger strike outside the RPC3 compound.

There have been 2 suicide attempts in the last day and tonight refugees on Nauru said 2 refugees have swallowed razor blades.

To say that the situation on Nauru is extremely grave is an understatement. 

Finally, we have received the following poem written by Navven Nave Ravi, a former Nauru detainee. The poem is a shocking insight into the psychological trauma that has been inflicted upon the Nauru detainees – people whose only ‘crime’ was to seek a better life away from war, extreme poverty and strife.

I HATE MY SELF…!!!

Mentaly I am drained – yes
Spiritually I am feel dead…
Physically I am giving always…
Fake smile on my face
Because my lips can’t explain…the pain in my heart
I am loser… I hate my self
Day and each day…..a
Lettle bit more…. Yes I am
So depressed so useless…… I
Just want to go to sleep…
And never wake-up…..
You can’t possibility imagine
Exactly how much pain….surrounding my heart….
I am copping with horrible things…..
I am constantly feel-like
I am at war with my self-to
Copping each day…..
Over and over you lied me-it’s
Over and over makes more pain
Over and over I cried – then
Over and over I am tired and
Over and over I hate my self
Every single second I am passing
I hate my self……… lots
When I started to crying confront of my pain….
All the day’s I am broken…
I am alive behind the masks faces…..
It’s more suffer with loneliness
I hate myself that the things
You doing to me….. With
Your inhuman…… Power
That’s your politics… I lost myself….. I tell every one…
I am fine but reality I am dying
Every things I had it’s running
Away from my head…. I lay
In the bed for hours in the dark
Night….and
Thinking about my future….but
It’s shut down completely…
I am so sad….. I hate my self
Yes……yes……. yes….
I want to sleep never ever wake up anymore

Papua New Guinea court finds Australia’s detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is illegal

manus 26

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says about 900 men being held at the Manus Island detention centre will not be brought to Australia after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled their detention was illegal.

The decision strikes one of the central pillars of the Turnbull government’s border protection regime, just weeks out from an election campaign during which the government is expected to heavily spruik its asylum seeker record.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Mr Dutton said the legal proceedings did not alter Australia’s border protection policies, which “remain unchanged”.

The court ruled the detention breached the constitutional right of asylum seekers to personal liberty. It ordered the Australian and PNG governments to immediately cease the “unconstitutional and illegal detention of asylum seekers” at Manus Island, and stop the breach of their human rights.

But the scale of this task is reflected in the fact that only eight of more than 1000 asylum seekers who were held in the centre have moved into the PNG community.

Three of these refugees returned to Manus Island and attempted to re-enter the island’s transit centre and two were arrested, as reported exclusively by Fairfax Media.

The vast majority of men in the detention centre have been found to be refugees. The court ruling said they were seeking asylum in Australia but were “forcefully brought into PNG” and locked in an Australian-funded centre “enclosed with razor wire”.

Mr Dutton said on Tuesday that no-one who attempts to travel to Australia “illegally” by boat will settle in Australia.

“The government will not allow a return to the chaos of the years of the Rudd-Gillard Labor governments when regional processing was initiated to deal with the overwhelming illegal arrivals of more than 50,000 people,” he said, adding the agreement with PNG to establish the detention centre was negotiated by Labor.

Mr Dutton said refugees at Manus Island could resettle in PNG and those whose claims were rejected should return to their country of origin.

PNG’s immigration minister, Rimbink Pato, told Fairfax Media he would issue a statement on the ruling after it was “considered properly” and legal advice was obtained.

Labor’s immigration spokesman Richard Marles said the ruling was “of significant concern” and said Mr Dutton should immediately be dispatched to Port Moresby to hold urgent talks with the PNG government.

“Labor is seeking an assurance from the government that it has a contingency plan to deal with today’s ruling. This decision, and our government’s response will be monitored by people smuggling networks,” Mr Marles said.

He said the original agreement Labor struck did not intend for Manus Island to be “a punitive place of indefinite detention” and claimed the government had failed to properly manage its offshore processing network after three years in office.

“Mr Dutton and his predecessor, Scott Morrison failed to properly engage with the government of PNG to ensure processing was occurring in a timely manner,” he said.

“They have also both failed in securing a lasting, third country resettlement to resolve the future for the people on Manus and Nauru. In doing so, this government has breached its duty of care to each one of those men, women and children.”

PNG immigration authorities attempted to prepare for an adverse decision by signalling their intention to move refugees out of detention and into the transit centre in Lorengau.

But the preparations have been resisted by asylum seekers, including those who refused to have their claims for refugee status assessed on the grounds that they had been taken to PNG against their will by the Australian government.

This week the PNG immigration department asserted 542 refugees had been offered resettlement in PNG, including just 74 who had moved from the detention centre to the transit centre.

Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs said the unanimous ruling by five judges was “further confirmation that Australia’s detention policies are increasingly out of step with international norms”.

Professor Triggs said the future of men on Manus Island remained “profoundly uncertain”, citing UNHCR concerns that the sustainable integration of refugees into the PNG community “will raise formidable challenges and protection concerns”.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young said the reported court ruling showed Australia “has been illegally detaining refugees on Manus Island for years”.

“The [Turnbull] government has got to shut the Manus Island detention camp and bring these people here… so that they can have their claims assessed and be integrated into the community,” she said.

“These people have been through enough. It’s time they were given the safety and care that they deserve.”

Australian Lawyers Alliance spokesman Greg Barns said the decision was consistent with international law which stated that indefinite detention was unlawful.

The ruling also meant asylum seekers could likely make successful claims for damages for false imprisonment, and strengthened claims that Australia had breached its duty of care to asylum seekers.

 “If Australia ignores the decision then it is contradicting its oft-stated claim that Manus Island detention is a matter for PNG jurisdiction,” he said. 

via Sydney Morning Herald

Behrouz Boochani: Statement Following Protest April 24

behrouz_detainee number 2

MY STATEMENT FOLLOWING PROTEST ON 24TH APRIL 2016

First I want to say thank you to all those advocates, journalists, academics, writers and friends who supported me and my way with their beautiful words yesterday.

Really I am happy that people understood perfectly that I went on top of that tall tree because of humanity and moral values. I am proud that you could recognise that I did not do that because of any mental sickness and that it was a political action.

Yesterday i had some short loud talks when I was on that dangerous place with immigration, psychologists, and officers and I explained to them that this action is only for democratic values and is against modern slavery which we in Manus prison are subject to.

I could move to Oscar prison easily but I resisted and chose to fight on a tall tree with my body. I know that you can understand deeply my situation as a man who has been imprisoned for about three years without any crime. I am a political prisoner.

I know that many of you know that I did not have any other way open to me to resist this. I had to climb on top of that tree because there was no longer any other way.The action was political. We are victims of political propaganda and should be understood as political prisoners. Australia put up in a hell prison camp under a regime of systematic torture. I wanted to show that his policy is cruel, inhumane, unjust and a modern form of slavery. We were forcibly transported from Australia to their black site on Manus Island and are subject to a regime of systematic torture. I hope that this action will encourage people to think more about the Australian Guantanamo in the heart of the Pacific Ocean.

Lastly, I want to say that I will continue to fight in any way that I can, even with my body.

Behrouz Boochani