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We came seeking your help; you denied our liberty & tortured us

We came seeking help
Introduction to the letter sent by Abdul Aziz Adam & signed by 500 refugees

ABDUL AZIZ ADAM | A Manus Refugee

Alison von der Borch lives in Australia and has familys ties to Papua New Guinea through a great-uncle who worked in the Wau area as a doctor in the 1930-40s. Alison has written to PNG Attitude:

“With the Manus detention centre closing in just a few weeks, I fear the tension this will create between the locals and the people Australia transported there.

“Although there are many kind locals and some friendships have been created, overall nothing has been done to facilitate any understanding between the two groups. There is great fear on both sides.

“I received the following letter from Abdul Aziz Adam, a friend on Manus, a very smart guy, Sudanese speaks seven languages. This was a collective effort written on Manus by refugees. It had 500 signatures attached to it.”

LOMBRUM, MANUS - To the people in authority over the treatment of refugees. To PNG prime minister, the attorney general, parliament members, PNG police, royal PNG constabulary chief justice of PNG.

We have been held in your country against our wishes and have been denied our Liberty and have been tortured in your country.

We came to Australia for seeking Asylum. Australia has signed the 1951 UN refugee convention, however they deliberately broke it and have not offered us Asylum. The UN, UNHCR, Amnesty International, Save the Children, HRW and many other organisations have rebuked Australia's treatment of us here in Manus detention centre.

Refugees carry an ill comrade
Refugees carry a fellow detainee who attempted suicide after another had been found hanged

Please do not go along with this mistreatment of humans. We do not want to move into the new centres in Manus town. We do not feel safe there or anywhere in PNG. We cannot work or provide for our families. We cannot be respected by people in society here. We don't want to settle in PNG.

We came to Australia. Australia should offer us Asylum. Give us to a safe country like New Zealand. New Zealand has already offered to take us. We will happily start a new lives there.

Your own constitution says that we are held illegally here.PNG High Court said last year that Lombrum detention is illegal and now in the end of October, Australian government said we are closing it. But they have built another three centres in town, where they will dump us in there for years.

How is this not illegal also? What words and phrases have been changed to make it not illegal?

The constitution says that "detaining of innocent people in PNG is illegal", it doesn't say "detaining of innocent people in Lombrum is illegal and legal in other parts of PNG."

Yet the situation remains the same. The semantics may have changed, yet the conditions have not.

This is not right. For how long will you keep us on this island against our will?

We are refugees and that means going home to our Homeland is not an option we can take.

Yet staying in PNG is not giving us a Liberty back either.

And we are dying by the policies that you will implement. Please don't kill us anymore.

Six friends have already died by this cruel policy that you have had a hand in and support.

Australia and PNG both have killed refugees who were unarmed and defenceless.

PNG please show some compassion and Humanity. Claim to be a Christian country. Yet the way you were treating vulnerable people is against how the Bible says to treat people. Is this how you love your neighbours? Is the showing Justice and compassion to those in need?

That's what Jesus told you to do ?But instead you were helping Australia to harm and torture innocent people and put them in detention for years. You are torturing us and want to kill us.

Dutton protest
Sydney protest calling for an end to offshore refugee detention (David Gray, Reuters)

Please consider our pleas. We are defenceless. We will not Fight. But we plead and ask you to help us to have our freedom in a safe country.

We are all asking, that all of PNG authorities please don't force us to resettle or move to community in your country.

We have much respect for your people, and your law.

Something happens to us, PNG you will be responsible, by supporting this cruel policy with Australia.

From now on if any of us are found dead or hanged outside of detention in PNG, it would mean that he has been killed. Because we would not kill ourselves.

Thank you.


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Robert Wilson

Amongst this emotional wave of anguish and rancour, lets not forget that a high % are economic refugees and whilst there are certain groups who were persecuted for their beliefs, many of these "travellers" do not fall in that capacity and have in fact paid considerable sums of money to the people smugglers who usually encourage them to destroy all their documentation that would have allowed for quick ID & classification. Being a suspicious character or perhaps someone who ask questions first before jumping, I wonder why they would do that? The answer is probably because they do not want anyone to find out the TRUTH!!!!!!!!!

May I interrupt, Robert. KJ here. For someone who professes such commitment to truth, I must say you're remarkably sloppy with your numbers. Statistics tendered to the PNG Supreme Court have shown that 87.7% of the detainees on Manus have valid claims for protection as legitimate refugees. Not "high % economic refugees", Robert, fair dinkum ones. Anyway, back to you and your "facts" - KJ

It is also a fact that a ever increasing number of these so called refugees who were shoe horned into Australia in the early Rudd/Gillard years are now regular travellers back to their home countries often for the purpose of involving themselves in those home politics whilst still feeding off the Australian welfare system.

All is not so clear cut as emotional supporters would have us believe.

I do however feel far more compassion for the poor old PNG citizen who regularly gets dumped upon on high from all and sundry!

Daniel Kumbon

Missionaries live and preach the Gospel in countries where these refugees come from to go to heaven.

But why can't Australia allow the refugees on Manus Island to settle there?

It would be more humane if Australia sends them back to their own countries for six deaths in captivity on PNG soil is one too many.

Trouble is, Daniel, the people designated as genuine refugees (and that's 90% of them) are escaping terror and violence in their own countries. They are between the devil and the deep blue sea - KJ

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