Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus to the Palm Sunday Rally 2018

    Walid Zazai speaks from Manus
    31 December 2017 As the clock ticked towards midnight, I felt both dread at another long year and hope for what seems unimaginable to me – freedom.
    Hello everyone, my name is Walid Zazai. Thank you for asking me to speak again.

    Much has changed since last year’s Palm Sunday Rally.
    On 7 August 2017, Hamed Shamshiripour died on Manus.On 21 September 2017, 24 Manus men left PNG for the US, thefirst to be resettled under what Donald Trump called a ‘dumb deal’.
    On 29 September 2017, Rajeev became the sixth Manus Island refugee to die in the last four years. His death follows those of Reza Barati, Hamid Kehazaei, Kamil Hussain, Faysal Ishak, Ahmed & Hamed Shamshiripour.
    November 2017 is a month I hope one day my memory will erase.Read more

  • A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    A letter from Manus Island to be read on Palm Sunday

    Imran, a refugee on Manus, has written this letter on behalf of the refugees and asylum-seekers on the island to coincide with Palm Sunday rallies across Australia. Dearest Friends, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to everyone joining the rally on Palm Sunday, and of course, to those who support us in myriadRead more

  • Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Friday essay: the Chauka bird and morality on our Manus Island home

    Michelle Nayahamui Rooney grew up on Manus Island and returned to her home in November 2017. Here is the story of her childhood, what Manus island means to her as she tries to explains what the detention centre has done to this community.

    “My poem Chauka, yu we? started as an angry reaction to the appropriation of the Chauka and the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. As a scholar and as a Manus Islander, I have tried to reason through the historical, political, social and moral issues that gave rise to the detention centre. At the same time I am left angry, sad and guilty…”Read more

  • BRING THEM HERE OFFSHORE DETENTION: THE SUFFERING CONTINUES

    BRING THEM HERE OFFSHORE DETENTION: THE SUFFERING CONTINUES

    While the Detention Centre on Manus Island was forcibly closed by the PNG Government there are still more than 600 men detained in unsafe conditions on Manus Island.
    There are approximately 340 people – men, women and children – held in the Nauru detention centre, including 43 children. A further 750 people have been released into the tiny Nauruan community, including more than 100 children. They have temporary visas, very limited rights, and they cannot leave the island.
    Read this concise update of what is continuing to happen on Manus Island and Nauru by the Bellingen and Nambucca District RAR. Jan 2018.Read more

  • Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    Australia built a hell for refugees on Manus. The shame will outlive us all – Richard Flanagan

    So this is what we have come to as a nation.
    The wretched of the earth, because they were no longer safe where they lived, sought to come here. With a determined cruelty, we kidnapped and imprisoned them in Pacific lagers. These lagers became synonymous with the idea of hellholes because it was important to our government that they be – ­and be known as – hellholes.
    On this policy of deterrence, as it was called, which had as its declared purpose to make innocent human beings suffer indefinitely, we spent billions of dollars. To this end we had truck with vile regimes such as Sri Lanka’s. And to this end we began forsaking our democratic rights.Read more

  • Australians of the Year call for doctors to be allowed into former Manus Island detention centre

    Australians of the Year call for doctors to be allowed into former Manus Island detention centre

    Twelve former Australians of the Year have written an open letter pleading with the Prime Minister to allow medical professionals access to asylum seekers inside the recently closed Manus Island detention centre.

    “It’s really likely that deaths will occur in the coming days and weeks so something needs to be done,” mental health expert Professor Patrick McGorry said.
    “There’s a great concern about the safety of these men from both a medical and a psychiatric point of viewRead more