60 men, currently held in hotel rooms in Melbourne where they have been for more than a year, were bussed yesterday to another hotel – The Park – under heavy police guard, as though they were dangerous criminals.
They are confined to one room and the corridor, confinement which they say is worse than on Manus.
These are refugees who were sick and brought to Australia from detention on Manus Is. under the Medivac laws (now repealed). They have now been incarcerated for 7 years with no hope in sight.
We are heavily indebted to Canada, New Zealand and America for doing what our governments – Liberal and Labor – would not; to take in refugees who might otherwise have died in their country of origin or in the hell-hole of indefinite imprisonment in Australia.
13 refugees did die including a 32 year-old doctor, and most became sick.
Thank you to the Guardian for painstakingly piecing together, from government data, the timeline of cruelty, the rationale for which was never more than mindless catchcries aimed to set Australians against these people.
The two major parties outbid each other in denying the 3,127 people who reached Australia over the last 8 years, the most basic human rights.
The Guardian tells us:
- 751 finally took the dangerous option to return home,
- 20 were forcibly deported, and
- 900 have been ‘resettled’ in the US, Canada and NZ.
- Of the remaining half, hundreds remain in limbo in PNG and Nauru and hundreds are still in detention in Australia or in the community on impossibly strict conditions.
It’s an act of extraordinary and deliberate cruelty for which we should all be ashamed.