Fr Giorgio Licini - 'I appeal to your sense of humanity and the responsibility of your high office'
FR GIORGIO LICINI | General Secretary, Catholic Bishops Conference
WAIGANI - Dear Hon Prime Minister: It is with heavy heart and an intense sense of sadness that I report to you on my recent visits to Lorengau town in Manus Island and to the Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby.
At the two locations, I had the heartbreaking experience of making contact with an appalling level of desperation in which refugees and asylum seekers live.
I am not referring to the logistic conditions in which the men are kept, which appear to be decent with security, cleanliness, and respect by national and expatriate personnel.
My concern is rather about their fast deteriorating health status, which is making now acts of self-harm and attempted suicide a daily occurrence: three cases only for the two days I was in Manus on 20-22 January.
While travel to Manus and to the detention centers may prove hard to your busy schedule, I warmly invite you to make a quick visit to the [Intensive Care Unit] ward of Pacific International Hospital at 3 Mile.
You will come across well-kept health facilities and extremely kind and professional personnel, but you will also meet about twenty refugees and asylum seekers in a deplorable state of mental health compounded with other ailments affecting their cardiac and respiratory system, kidney failure, fractured bones, etc.