September 8, 2015
Refugee Action Coalition
> MEDIA RELEASE
> MANUS ASYLUM SEEKERS APPEAL TO EUROPE FOR HELP
> FREE THE SYRIAN ASYLUM SEEKERS
> An appeal for help from Europeans and European countries has been
> signed by over 100 asylum seekers in detention on Manus Island
> (attached and text below. Full letter with signatures is available on
> Among other things, the Manus Island appeal says,” We have fled war
> and persecution just like the asylum seekers in Europe. We need safety
> and resettlement,” and requests European countries to “…to urge the
> Australia government to cease the illegal detention of us…”
> Almost 1000 refugees and asylum seekers are indefinitely detained on
> Manus Island. A similar number, including families and children are on
> “It is astonishing that there has among the calls to action over the
> European crisis, there has been no mention of the asylum seekers that
> are the victims of the government’s mandatory and offshore detention
> regime,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action
> “There are Syrian asylum seekers in Villawood, Manus and Nauru, who
> have been held in detention for over two years while their families
> were bombed in Syria.
> “It will be darkly ironic if Australia agrees to bring asylum seekers
> from Syria while Syrian asylum seekers languish in Australian
> detention centres. The dead boy on the Turkish beach could just as
> easily have been the child of an asylum seeker in detention in
> “It is shocking that the Prime Minister could play to anti-Muslin
> sentiments by suggesting that Christians would be the first to be
> selected from Syria. It is not just racist, and an explicit break from
> the pretence of a non-discriminatory humanitarian policy, it is
> hypocritical. There are plenty of Christians in Australian detention
> centres also being persecuted by this government.
> “The callous indifference being shown by the Abbott government to the
> asylum seekers in Europe is a product of the brutal, anti-refugee
> policies it enforces in Australia.”
> For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713
> APPEAL FROM ASYLUM SEEKERS ON MANUS ISLAND:
> This is a letter from Australia’s asylum seekers to Europeans and
> European governments:
> While your countries have been faced with the critical and difficult
> crisis due to the constant flow of war-torn people, and all the world
> is witnessing that the Europe is endeavouring to exercise its humane
> and moral responsibilities through providing hundreds of thousands of
> refugees with protection, the Australian government has imprisoned us,
> 900 asylum seekers, for 26 months on Manus island in the heart of
> Pacific Ocean.
> The situation is utterly inhumane and difficult over this period.
> We have been under very heavy mental pressure. We have lost two of our
> friends -Reza Barati and Hamid Khazaei- due to the locals attack on
> the prison and lack of health facilities. The Australian government
> has done everything to persecute us. We desperately request the
> Europeans and the European countries to urge the Australia government
> to cease the illegal detention of us in this hell-hole and to fulfill
> its international obligations in relation to the refugee crisis.
> We have fled war and persecution just like the asylum seekers in
> Europe. We need safety and resettlement.
> The Australian government has treated us like criminals and calls us
> boat criminals because we came by boat.
> In order to obtain more information about our difficult situation in
> the prison on Manus island, please refer to the international
> organisations’ reports on this matter such as reports from Amnesty
> International, UNHCR, Australian Senate Inquiry, Human Rights Watch,
> the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
> Treatment and Punishment.
> Signed: Manus asylum seekers