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.
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.
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.