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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Manus bothers me - it should bother you too

Manus bothers me - it should bother you too

Manus bothers me – it should bother you too

The media has been diligently reporting on the Manus Island situation.

The new Minister has castigated the media
for publishing false reports. Yet the Minister has provided no proof
the reports are false.

The underlying issue is not being addressed.

2011: professionals warned that detention is dysfunctional.

2012: Amnesty International wrote a scathing assessment of Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers.

2013: The UN found we were in contravention of over 150 points of international law.

2014: Criticism from every quarter, it seemed.

Here we are in 2015, still marching to our strange inhumane drum.

The situation gets worse, not better. We
“have boundless plains to share” our national anthem says. Not if you
are non-Christian or non-white it seems.

Last year I wrote a little fiction about Australians becoming asylum seekers.
 I’ve asked if New Zealanders suddenly had to flee the shaky isles in
boats after a natural disaster, would they be sent to Manus Island or

What are we doing? The psychological
damage we are causing people is something they may never, ever recover
from. We are responsible. Every single one of us who does not speak out
in defence of the defenceless is responsible.

Read Michael Burge’s interview with refugee advocate George Georgiadis. Read the UNHCR’s Rough Crossing.

Speak out. Today.

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