As the Manus Island siege enters its seventh day, with around 600 interred refugees having barricaded themselves against dangerous removal to a temporary site where they fear violence from islanders, the Rise refugee team is calling for solidarity protests today at Australian embassies.
RISE ex-detainees urgently request protests and other actions to be held next Tuesday, November 7th on Melbourne Cup day, a high-profile international event, to bring to the world’s attention the escalating crisis faced by detainees held hostage by the Australian government on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.
We also ask our supporters to carry out protests and actions internationally on the day at Australian embassies across the world to show your solidarity with our community and #SanctionAustralia for their crimes against humanity.
In the last few days, detainees on Manus have had no access to food, water and medicine. These are basic needs to keep a person alive and they are being deliberately and systematically removed by the Australian government. No refugee wants to be left in limbo, but the Australian government has consistently shown a lack of transparency and accountability, breaking faith with Refugees.
Detainees refuse to leave Australia’s detention camp in Manus because they are simply being moved to another form of detention.The Australian government should immediately grant permanent protection in Australia for the Manus detainees as well as those who they trafficked to the Island of Nauru. Both the Australian and the New Zealand government should also ensure that all the detainees have the same option in New Zealand so they have choice and both governments should take immediate action to evacuate them after granting them permanent protection visas.
Refugees brought to Australia from Manus and Nauru torture camps for medical treatment should also be given the same option. This is the bare minimum: visa status & a country to live in will never compensate for our community being held in Australian torture camps.
There have been many inquiries and many reports of rape, sexual abuse and torture in Australia’s refugee detention camps since they were opened more than 25 years ago, yet these abuses continue because not a single Immigration Minister or administrator in the Australian government has been held accountable. Depression, suicide, and other mental illnesses are pervasive within Australian detention centres, and are often a direct result of the experience of detention itself and we should not stay silent when it matters.
Please take action and #SanctionAustralia to send a strong message to the Australian government and show the world that you stand against Australia’s criminal administrative detention regime implemented more than 25 years ago against us refugees. The international community should also condemn Australia, a member of the UN Human rights council, for exploiting less affluent countries such as Papua New Guinea and Nauru and using them as proxies to carry out human rights abuses against refugees.
RISE Ex-detainee Team
RISE : Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees