This July marks five years on Manus and Nauru for refugees dumped there by the Australian government.
The situation remains urgent. On 15 June, Fariborz became the 12th person to die as a result of offshore detention. He had warned repeatedly of his declining mental health, but never received the help he needed.
There are 1600 refugees and asylum seekers still stranded on the islands. Around half of all those on Manus and Nauru are blocked from the US by Trump’s travel ban. Iranian, Somali, Sudanese and Iraqi refugees are all being refused resettlement.
The more the election approaches, the more Peter Dutton and Malcolm Turnbull are trying to beat up fear about refugees in the hope of winning votes. Yet they still trail badly in the polls.
The outrage in the US over Donald Trump’s separation of immigrant and refugee families at the border shows that racist policies can be fought. Trump has been forced to back down and promise to keep families together.
Australia also separates refugee families between Australia, and Nauru and Manus Island. And there are still children in detention on Nauru.
There is now majority support for bringing the refugees off the two offshore prison islands. Yet Labor’s Bill Shorten also refuses to adopt the only solution that could get them to safety—to #BringThemHere.
Until all the refugees and asylum seekers are brought to Australia, we have to keep fighting to close Manus Island and Nauru.
Organised by Refugee Action Coalition