The Border Crossing Observatory stands in solidarity with the men on Manus Island and calls on the government to take responsibility for their wellbeing.
We are posting a message below from independent Kurdish journalist, refugee and Manus Island detainee, Behrouz Boochani via GetUp!
You can follow Behrouz Boochani on Twitter for live updates from Manus @BehrouzBoochani
I’m writing from Manus Island. It’s not the first time that I am talking with you people in Australia. We in Manus are aware that so many Australian people have protested in Australia in the past four years.
First I would like to give my deepest thanks for standing up for humanity. It’s so valuable for the Australian community and for us in Manus and Nauru that there are still so many people who care about humanity and who are fighting for justice.
As you know we held a peaceful protest in Manus for more than three weeks in a situation where we were deprived of access to food, water, and medicine.
I would like to emphasise again that we could never resist peacefully without you people in Australia and I appreciate you once again. We decided to resist on our own, but your support gave us faith that there are still people who care, and who are willing to stand up for justice.
Our resistance was completely peaceful in a situation where we were under so much pressure and the threat of violence. Our resistance was completely democratic because so many people with different nationalities, religions and cultures were resisting peacefully together.
Every day we had a public meeting inside the prison camp and we shared our ideas together. Every day in the public meeting we emphasised this key concept: that we should care about each other, we should care about the people who are sick, we should respect each other and we should show the people around the world that we are peaceful, respectful and caring people.
We even decided that despite our limited food we must feed the dogs who were living with us.
We did all of these things in a situation where we were living with very little food and water.
Our resistance had a broader purpose. It was to be a model and present a new way for humanity. We wanted to show how humans have this capacity to be kind and peaceful and care about humanity even in a harsh situation.
During the resistance we were following your protests in Australia and we became stronger and more determined in our decision to embrace kindness because we could see that people were hearing our voice, and that people are willing to care and fight for humanity in Australia.
We could feel you with us and it’s so beautiful to share in our humanity in this way.
In the end of our resistance the Australian government and PNG government decided to attack us by force and beat so many of the refugees to force them out.
It was a defeat for them because they could not see how we were resisting peacefully for all humanity. It shows that they could not endure that people in Australia and around the world are hearing our voice.
They attacked humanity and tried to humiliate humanity, but in fact they humiliated themselves and showed they cannot accept people being together and loving each other. They even killed one of the beautiful dogs that was living with us. That was so cruel and unacceptable.
I would like to say that sending people from a prison to another prison camp is not a solution, and we people should continue to fight together in a peaceful way to get freedom for all of the refugees.
I would like to emphasise that we people in Manus love you and deeply respect you people in Australia. But we are strongly saying that Peter Dutton is using propaganda to say our only desire is to come to Australia. Our only desire is freedom and safety in any safe country. We are not safe or free now, especially with the Australian Government authorising force to be used against us. Please, let us go.
We people in Manus, Nauru and Australia are strong together, we are able to create change, we are able to create freedom while we are together.
— Behrouz Boochani