Once more we are hearing reports of self harming and desperation amongst the asylum seekers held in detention on Manus Island in PNG. It is almost 12 months since the violence directed at the detainess by locals and staff, which left Reza Berati dead, and several other men seriously injured. There are over 1000 men held on Manus Island, who are anxious about their future, fearing for their safety if they are ‘resettled’ in PNG, and fearful of being deported to the dangerous situations they fled to seek asylum in Australia.
Members of the Refugee Advoacy Network believe that Australia could and should bring these men to Australia, and ensure that they live with dignity and safety while their refugees claims are decided.
We invite you to contact your local Member of Parliament and tell them that you disagree with the current policy of offshore detention and that you want Australia to protect asylum seekers, and to honour the UN Refugee Convention.
IT’S EASY……….please take just a few minutes to do this, and help to bring about policy changes.
We suggest you contact your MP by emailing, sending a letter, and/or phoning your MP’s office. See draft email below, which you may choose to use ‘as is’, or use as a basis for your own.
To find your local MP go to: http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/find-your-local-mp.htm and type in your postcode or suburb. You will find their contact details on either their personal website, or their parliamentary profile.
We would also encourage you to send a copy to:
The Hon Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, ( c/- Electoral Office PO Box 2012 Strathpine, QLD, 4500) , or PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Email firstname.lastname@example.org Canberra office (02) 6277 7220 Electoral office: (07) 3205 9977
The Hon Tony Abbott, Prime Minister, ( c/- Electoral Office PO Box 450, Manly, NSW, 2095 ), or PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Email per https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm Canberra office (02) 6277 7700 Electoral office: (02) 9977 6411
The Hon Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, ( c/- Electoral Office PO Box 214, Moonee Ponds Vic 3039), or PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Email per http://billshorten.com.au/contact Canberra office (02) 6277 4022 Electoral office: (03) 9326 1300
The Hon Richard Marles, Shadow Minister for Immigration, ( c/- Electoral Office 17A Yarra Street Geelong, VIC, 3220) or PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600 Email email@example.com Canberra office (02) 6277 4330 Electoral office: (03) 5221 3033
Dear (MP/Minister etc)
I am writing to ask you to do all in your power to bring about the closure of the detention centre on Manus Island, and to bring the 1035 men who are currently detained there to Australia. The reports of their desperation, hunger strikes and self harm are deeply troubling. These people have been held in limbo for up to 18 months, and it is clear they fear further violence – it was reported recently that locals massed outside the centre and that local staff smashed the kitchen in one of the compounds. It is nearly 12 months since the terrible violence last year when locals broke into the centre, leaving one dead, several others seriously injured. The detention environment, prolonged detention with nothing to occupy time and the unrelenting anxiety about their future erodes hope, and naturally leads to desperate actions.
It is well known that many locals are hostile towards the refugees, and the prospects for their successful resettlement are very poor indeed, given the poverty, insecurity and lack of services in PNG communities.
Australia has a duty to ensure the safety of these people. They should be immediately brought to Australia and given at least temporary visas with work rights. Australia can and must treat asylum seekers with dignity and decency, and ensure that their refugee claims are processed thoroughly and fairly.
I strongly object to the current costly, damaging, and punitive offshore regime. Many PNG nationals and community leaders also strongly object to these arrangements which have been ‘sold’ to PNG by Australia in return for aid assistance.
What will you do to bring this shameful situation to an end?
Awaiting your reply