Welcome

WELCOME TO THE FIRST BLOG FOR 2018 – FEBRUARY

We are committed to keeping this blog active throughout 2018 with writing, art, music, interviews, news reports, poetry and updates of what our members are doing throughout the year.

I am a writer and musician. I’ve been looking for freedom since I knew myself.  Thunder (Manus) Free Poetry, Castlemaine

Introducing our new WEBSITE ADMINISTRATOR – SAMAD:

Samad has joined Writing Through Fences as our website administrator to work alongside Gary.  He will be working from PNG where he has been detained indefinitely for more than 4 years.  His job will include updating our website and keeping the blog active with writings, reports, poetry, music, art and other happenings from people who are affected by Australia’s immigration policies.

– Janet

About me: 

My name is Samad and I’m from Pakistan. I have been detained illegally for years in a place where it’s so easy for hope and dreams to be demolished. I wasn’t a writer but this place made me a writer. My pain made me a writer.  Although I can’t take my dreams from the people who destroyed them I will use my words as a weapon and will not allow them to destroy more dreams.

I completed high school and then went on to do 2 more years of general studies in the Faculty of Science.  I also studied some  Basic Engineering and attended English classes before I was forced to flee my homeland.

I became interested in writing when I came here to PNG.   When there isn’t anyone with me I always write.

My strength is in my hope of building a great image of a great future in my thoughts.  I want to study Human Rights and be a social worker / advocate for women and girls rights in my country.  My culture denies them their rights. 

I have written a short piece about my passion for the rights of women and girls in his country.  It is included in this first blog of 2018 and titled: My Dream.

You can also see an article I wrote from Manus published by the Australian Independent Media Network in 2017 here https://theaimn.com/?s=Samad+Abdul+

My dream : writing by Samad Abdul

It might be so normal for lots of people who see a bird to be captured by some one but the way the innocent bird is crying, do we feel the pain?

The society where I lived,  has plenty of innocent birds and those beautiful birds are girls, who want support, motivation, positivity, freedom and education but we have failed to give them their fundamental rights.

It’s just normal for the majority of people and unfortunately they are proud of themselves for not allowing girls to have their fundamental rights.

There are still lots of people who believe giving birth to a baby girl is a big shame. How can a girl survive in a society where a boy is allowed to do what ever he wants  but a girl is strictly denied?

Since childhood, girls have been told,  ‘why would you want to study when you will end up with marriage life when you turn 16 and you will look after the kids for the rest of your life?’  That is the big excuse made by a culture centuries ago and the majority are happy with that.

Her life decision is under her parents or elder brothers control until she gets married.  After marriage she will be expected to do what her husband tells her to do.

She can’t go alone anywhere, she can’t make life decisions,  she is not allowed to work, she’s always expected to accept the unacceptable.  That’s how the girls are surviving in my society.

I want the girls in my society to be proud, to be motivated, to be supported,  to be educated and my biggest dream is to sacrifice my life for them and fight against that part of my society, and for girl’s and women’s freedom.

  • Samad Abdul . 31 January 2018

Blog Archive

POETRY

Hani Abdile is a writer and spoken word poet who fled the civil war in Somalia. She made her way to Australia and was detained on Christmas Island. Hani is an honorary member of PEN, and a lead writer for  Writing Through Fences.  Hani has received numerous awards for her community work and other achievements since being released from immigration detention. Her first book I Will Rise was published in 2016 to much acclaim and is available through the Writing Through Fences website shop. 

 

(photo by Rodney Decker)

Oooh old friends

My beloved friend

Many days

We laughed

We chased each other

We tickled

 

But that wasn’t my favourite

 

We rolled in the mud

So thick, double to our skin

Danced in the rain

As we thought we could bless the land.

 

We re-owned our lost childhood

Your smiles fully healed my wounds

So shiny and sharp.

 

I was addicted to your company

I felt disgrace to leave you behind

But my friend you have chosen the traditional way.

 

Seeing your photos my perfect friend —

Life always takes unexpected turns

You dive into abuse and rise like a sun

Blessed to be a mother of two

My ship has sailed on unknown shores

While yours still floats on the garden of your birth.

Hani Abdile 2018

 

Boush Idris Mohammed

Boush is a writer from the the Zaghawa tribe in the Darfur region of Sudan from where he was forced to flee.  He is one of the most consistent members of Writing Through Fences, working actively within the group since 2013.  His love of story and writing has him hoping to become a teacher.  After years of being detained in Indonesia he was  granted Refugee Status by the UN but remains in limbo in Indonesia.  Boush is an avid reader and is learning guitar.  His work appears in the chapbook Our Beautiful Voices published by Writing Through Fences, on the Writing Through Fences website, was played on Refugee Radio 3CR and his piece ‘Mama Africa’ was part of the Through The Moon performance at the Queensland Poetry Festival 2017.

 

 

So many nights

Many nights I had with many fake dreams,

but still it’s the new beginning;

Many schools we have with limited qualifications, 

but still the hardest is the school of life.

From the beginning I felt the test of my destiny

and from suffering I learned – 

discovering confidence and determination 

are always my clear destination.

– Boush 2018

 

Screaming

Screaming at my beloved country.

Screaming at the land where leaders are giving attention to their pockets rather than caring.

Screaming at the land where human tragedy is alive. 

Screaming at the land where governors love corruption rather than love their people.

Screaming at the land of broken tribes, of houses destroyed and economic collapse, where people are depressed and angry, where we pass each other with no greeting and if we do speak its just robotic communication. 

Screaming because we don’t care who we are and we don’t care where we are 

while we have all grown up from the same land, 

fed like twins from the same mother.

– Boush 2018

 

NEWS REPORT – INDONESIA

“Late report but necessary to read once”

It was 3am on the 1st of February 2018. As I wrote this report the sound of the cries from my cellmates rang in my ears.

The rain poured down and washed away my pain, the tears dropped from my eyes dripped onto my mobile keypad.

It has been fifteen consecutive days of protest in Balikpapan Prison camp, East Kalimantan, Indonesia now, we have been demanding freedom from incarceration and a safe and secure life. Now the refugees have decided to initiate their night-time protest.

The chronic pain of exile. Incarcerated for a period of four years. No real hope for ever achieving a peaceful life, no real hope in ever achieving a life without oppression; the refugees embarked on this journey purely because of their inner strength and stamina.

Minutes after they began their protest, after sounding their cries for freedom and their pleas for help, the head warden of the prison arrived together with a group of local police officers.

At this point everyone was calm and they raised their hands up in a show of submission. For some time the head warden of the prison camp hurled as much abuse and insults as he could muster up; he also threatened to press criminal charges and imprison the refugees in the local jails. This is what he told the refugees.

A few were so unbearably tired and felt so totally hopeless. They were completely shocked, their hearts had faltered and they felt they would never be free from this prison… they lost all control of themselves.

Two individuals collapsed for the first time ever and began to tremble. The refugees, who had no medical or first aid skills whatsoever, rushed over to keep the two of them stable lest they hurt themselves or anyone else.

The security guards watching the whole situation unfold not only did not help, they called the local police over and then closed the door and left the scene.

The situation continued like this for a period of time until more individuals began to suffer from heart pain and fainted from the shock. The whole thing was totally out of control. Everyone was screaming, and some were helping the fallen. Nineteen individuals in total had lost all hope and entered a state of shock. Among all this a small youth of fourteen years old also lost control, causing his older brother to enter a state of shock and panic for a short time. Actually, until a few months ago most of the people here were underage and had entered manhood while incarcerated.

The situation is now back under control. No one has any medical training, and there is no one else here to assist us. The immigration officers and IOM have left and gone to sleep in their comfortable beds. Total silence everywhere. Every now and then one of the people who collapsed would let out a yell and then weep. However, they have friends beside them to look after them; they hold down their arms and legs firmly so they do not hurt themselves or others.

It is unclear what will transpire tomorrow. I do not know the consequences of writing this report, I do not know if I will still be alive or not for exposing this. I do not know if I will be cuffed and taken to one of the local prisons, or if I will just remain here and continue to be a voice for the refugees and cry for help.

In any case, I have written this report for people to read and realise that we are still alive – do not let us be buried alive.

For more than a century we have been buried alive everyday and massacred. Tell me, is this civilisation and modernity, is this what you call support for human rights and the oppressed.

Just know that this situation is no different to the terrorist groups who make our lives a living hell and massacre us with bullets and blades.

When they kill us it happens once and our bodies are put to rest, but in here our very souls are dying everyday.

– Erfan Dana in Indonesia

Translated by Omid Tofighian, American University in Cairo/University of Sydney

FROM RISE
www.riserefugee.org

RISE Press Release Re-Invasion day aka “Australia Day” in 2018

We Refugees, Ex-detainees and Asylum seekers from RISE condemn any group or individual who claims to be pro-refugee but celebrates Invasion Day aka “Australia Day” on the 26th of January.

“We believe the systemic abuse of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples is a result of over 200 years of discrimination as part of the white colonial genocide strategy that continues to this day and this template is now being used against our own refugee communities. How can we dismantle the white Australian government’s refugee torture camps built within and outside its colonial borders without addressing the root cause of this criminal abuse?”

RISE founder and eX-detainee, Ramesh Fernandez “As survivors of occupation, rape, torture and oppression we should not undermine the struggle for survival that other oppressed community groups face. We should respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their sovereignty. It is not a day to poster yourself on a billboard, dance, sing or wrap a flag around yourself that represents occupation, colonisation and genocide of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Australia”.

As Refugees seeking protection and freedom on this land we acknowledge that we live in occupied territories where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are the traditional owners and where sovereignty has never been ceded. ‘Always was, always will be Aboriginal land’.

Full Press Release here : http://riserefugee.org/rise-press-release-re-invasion-day-…/

#sanctionautralia

REFUGEE RADIO

Listen to the latest show here:

http://www.3cr.org.au/refugeeradioshow

A message from Jenell Quinsee:

Melbourne has a small community radio station and they have a show every Sunday at 10am called Refugee Radio.

We are able to play recordings of your poetry, music, stories, and anything you want! This is an exciting opportunity for people to hear your work if you would like this.

We already have some recordings of your work and can start playing them. You can also make new recordings and send them to me if you would like them played on radio. It does not have to be in English. If you wish to record in your own language please do!

If you cannot send me audio files we can read your poetry on the radio show instead.

I will contact some of you by message to get your consent to play your poetry and music. You do not have to use your name if you don’t want to.

Also…if there is anyone who lives in the Melbourne community you are invited to produce the show and make it yours. You will receive full training about how to be a radio presenter. Wow wow wow!!!

You can contact Jenell on facebook or through the Writing Through Fences contact page or through our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/135276877042748/

AND FINALLY SOME ART & AN INVITATION FOR YOU TO BE INVOLVED

We will add to our blog every week and upload a newsletter each month letting you know what we have been up to.

If you are writing, making art or music and are someone who has been forced to flee your homeland you can join us at Writing Through Fences, share your work and take part in projects.

If you are interested in helping us to continue our work please think about donating to one of our projects.  Go to the projects menu and you will see what it is we are up to.

This is a recent art work by J.Luan – Dancing Brush titled ‘Waiting Door’.

You can find more of his work and buy his work at https://www.jluanart.com/about

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erfan Dana

My name is Erfan, I’m 21 years of age this year. Originally, from Afghanistan. I felt threatened and obliged to flee my motherland due to ongoing war and everyday fighting in Afghanistan. I arrived in Indonesia in 2014 when I had only 18 years of age. Since then I have been incarcerated in the state of constant uncertainty in one of the Indonesian detention centres, so-called “Pontianak” .  After many years of imprisonment, I still don’t know how long more I must stay in this prison camp before my freedom comes. So, whenever I miss my family members, especially my goodwill mother, I pick up a piece of paper with my pen then start writing about my unforgettable old sweet memories which I had with my family members back in Afghanistan. Though, I know they can’t read my heartfelt messages I will keep writing for them. I believe, there will come a day when I get reunited with my lovely and caring family members. I will show all my writings and tell them I never forgot their love and support even for a second while I was living in prison.

………………..

12th February 2018

To be virtuous is to be free. Being humane does not come at an enormous cost!

There was a moment when I recognised my humanity, and it was then that I also realised the sincerity and nobility of my humanity. From that time on I severed my connection with religion, I lost my faith, I broke away from the confines of racial hierarchies, culture divisions and ethnic conflict… forever. For me, to be a righteous human, to be humane, to be compassionate came to mean something new; for me they reached a greater level of valour in my contact with different peoples, and especially toward animals; for me they meant a deeper love for humanity. I realised true kindness, I recognised true affection, I revelled in togetherness.

For over four years I have been displaced and alienated from my family, I have suffered greatly, I have experienced so many forms of pain. There were times when I was degraded due to my Afghan identity. I would be verbally abused and denigrated when dealing with a whole range of diverse people, groups of people from completely different backgrounds, because I did not appear well-off, I did not wear expensive and fashionable clothes; but I always maintained principles of humanity, I maintained a code of ethics.

The hardest part of all these difficulties has been spending three years of my life in the corner of a prison. I have been reduced to a prisoner, forced to live in the worst state possible, even though I have not committed any crime – stripped of a life of freedom and dignity due to my status as a displaced person and my weak financial situation. I have ended up wasting time in this repulsive and depressing place. In most cases I have been resisting the injustice and violence of the guards and immigration officers, and I have become a somewhat expert in using whatever strategies humanly possible. Without fear of damaging my case for protection, I have been defending homeless and vulnerable refugees.
Ultimately, after all these bitter and edifying encounters I have realised that no one is your friend, no one will come to your aid, no one recognises you as a soul who deserves freedom. No one is there for you, just because you are not religiously inclined, because you do not have religious faith. And I have come to understand that humans, and humanity as a whole, have lost their values and principles.

I always placed honour on the highest pedestal in life – for me it has always been a source of power, merit, and kindness, and also the basis of humanity. This is what is valuable, what has been valuable from time immemorial!

I will do whatever it takes and overcome all obstacles so that I come to understand better, so that I experience more, so that I can tolerate loneliness, so I can confront the dangers, so that I become a model human being, so that I leave a legacy!

We are in desperate need of a world devoid of religious violence and racial violence.

Written by me Erfan Dana a refugee originally, from Afghanistan currently detained In one of an Indonesian detention centres.

Translated by Omid Tofighian

……………….
6th February 2018
(Art work by William Kentridge)

Have you seen a bird inside a locked cage?

Just imagine. The bird has no freedom, no calmness.

This is painful to behold. Do you know what is even more heartbreaking than this scene?

The life of the bird who becomes so accustomed to captivity that it begins to love the cage. Perhaps it has been kept inside the cage for too long. Or maybe the bird knows there is no place for it outside the cage.

The bird has neither wings to fly nor a place to stay in.

These days, I’m quite the same. I love the cage. It feels as if this cage is now part of my existence.

No sky is waiting for me to fly and no land wants to welcome me.

A forgotten person in the corner of the cage, who can only breathe.

 

  • A sad and tragic poem by Azad and me!
  • Translated by me Erfan Dana a refugee detained in one an Indonesian detention centres.
 ……………….

“Late report but necessary to read once”

It was 3am on the 1st of February 2018. As I wrote this report the sound of the cries from my cellmates rang in my ears.

The rain poured down and washed away my pain, the tears dropped from my eyes dripped onto my mobile keypad.

It has been fifteen consecutive days of protest in Balikpapan Prison camp, East Kalimantan, Indonesia now, we have been demanding freedom from incarceration and a safe and secure life. Now the refugees have decided to initiate their night-time protest.

The chronic pain of exile. Incarcerated for a period of four years. No real hope for ever achieving a peaceful life, no real hope in ever achieving a life without oppression; the refugees embarked on this journey purely because of their inner strength and stamina.

Minutes after they began their protest, after sounding their cries for freedom and their pleas for help, the head warden of the prison arrived together with a group of local police officers.

At this point everyone was calm and they raised their hands up in a show of submission. For some time the head warden of the prison camp hurled as much abuse and insults as he could muster up; he also threatened to press criminal charges and imprison the refugees in the local jails. This is what he told the refugees.

A few were so unbearably tired and felt so totally hopeless. They were completely shocked, their hearts had faltered and they felt they would never be free from this prison… they lost all control of themselves.

Two individuals collapsed for the first time ever and began to tremble. The refugees, who had no medical or first aid skills whatsoever, rushed over to keep the two of them stable lest they hurt themselves or anyone else.

The security guards watching the whole situation unfold not only did not help, they called the local police over and then closed the door and left the scene.

The situation continued like this for a period of time until more individuals began to suffer from heart pain and fainted from the shock. The whole thing was totally out of control. Everyone was screaming, and some were helping the fallen. Nineteen individuals in total had lost all hope and entered a state of shock. Among all this a small youth of fourteen years old also lost control, causing his older brother to enter a state of shock and panic for a short time. Actually, until a few months ago most of the people here were underage and had entered manhood while incarcerated.

The situation is now back under control. No one has any medical training, and there is no one else here to assist us. The immigration officers and IOM have left and gone to sleep in their comfortable beds. Total silence everywhere. Every now and then one of the people who collapsed would let out a yell and then weep. However, they have friends beside them to look after them; they hold down their arms and legs firmly so they do not hurt themselves or others.

It is unclear what will transpire tomorrow. I do not know the consequences of writing this report, I do not know if I will still be alive or not for exposing this. I do not know if I will be cuffed and taken to one of the local prisons, or if I will just remain here and continue to be a voice for the refugees and cry for help.

In any case, I have written this report for people to read and realise that we are still alive – do not let us be buried alive.

For more than a century we have been buried alive everyday and massacred. Tell me, is this civilisation and modernity, is this what you call support for human rights and the oppressed.

Just know that this situation is no different to the terrorist groups who make our lives a living hell and massacre us with bullets and blades.

When they kill us it happens once and our bodies are put to rest, but in here our very souls are dying everyday.

  • Erfan Dana in Indonesia
  • Translated by Omid Tofighian, American University in Cairo/University of Sydney

………………..

This is one of the good stories about my dedicated father I would like to share it with you all.

MY FATHER WAS A SHOEMAKER: Erfan Dana

Father is one of the most magnificent words and worthy gift for this beautiful nature.  Every human being must know the importance and value of the fathers.  I humbly would like to thank my faithful and kind-hearted father from the core of my heart. His important existence has been a part of my meaningful life and his educational advice an effective lesson for a brighter and successful future.  Thus my father, who was a busy shoemaker, has never let me down by feeling lonely or helpless, he has accompanied me in every challenge and the worst aspects of my life. 

My father spent his whole springtime working tirelessly in order to provide comforts, warmth, health service, and a house with the modern facilities for me and our family members.  He worked very tough days and nights in cold and hot weather to find money to  support our family financially and educationally.   He lived poorly and has given all his life to us by working and being father.   For his wife and children, in addition, he would see to our happiness and superior days.  Though I had the physical power to work and get money from somewhere my sympathetic father, who always cared a lot about me prevented me from working.   He only wanted me to learn and make my future better.  Several times I decided to start working somewhere in order to cooperate with my father economically to carry the burden together.   He got angry because of the decision I had taken and swore me to my mother not to waste my time uselessly.   He didn’t accept that I work anywhere.   

After some years passed, I grew up into a young boy under the kindness and love of my mother and family members.  When i was 15 years old I finished grade 8 successfully and got second position.  While I was heading home with a satisfactory outcome I was feeling cheerful to make my parents happy with the result.  When seeing my good marks my noblest father appreciated me as much as the rest of my family members did.  I was fully an eligible student for grade 9.  But most of the time I felt furious because I was not able to contribute with my father at his work.  Finally an idea clicked me to take an English course but i I was unsure whether my father would agree to allow me to go to the English Center or not because at that time mullahs were preventing people from going to go English Center.  With fears I told my father that I would like to take an English course.   He became very happy to hear this good decision. 

I started learning English, full of interest and enthusiasm.  In every class i was getting first or second position.  After one and a half years I successfully got my diploma and certificate of achievement and moved up one level higher to professional advanced.  When i was ending my professional advanced the director of our Academy suggested to me to start teaching basic classes here in the academy.  They had no more staff members in the academy.   After I passed my presentation I would hopefully succeed to be a regular teacher.  So I received a monthly salary about 2500 Afghani.  It was enough for me to buy my school stuff so I didn’t take any more money from my father.  Every month my father asked me, ‘why you didn’t ask any money from me’?  I replied him, ‘now I have a salary and have enough funds to pay for my school fee’.   He became very happy and hugged me tightly because I was able to stand on my feet.

Although I don’t have a job to work and get money to send for my family I want  to write about our panic history I have passed up in my early age.  If today I’m able to write, speak, act as human with different people, I owe this all to my parents and my family members.

Love my dear father.  My family is my support system and my source of inspirations.

Erfan

…………

MULTICULTURAL EDUCATION:  Writing by Erfan Dana

Multicultural education is a philosophical concept built on the ideals of freedom, justice , equality, and human dignity. We live in a vast world and interact with people from different backgrounds with completely different cultures, languages, customs and life principles.

The importance of multiculturalism lies in the idea that no culture is inherently superior to all others, and no culture is truly inferior to the rest.

Every human culture has the the potential to contribute positively to the human condition, and the benefits of a multicultural viewpoint give us all the humility to be able to accept, respect and understand one other better.

Differences are what bring color to this world, making it more beautiful and more enjoyable to live in. At the very heart of diversity and multiculturalism is the human need to bring people close together through embracing and not just tolerating their differences.

So get to know the next person sitting beside you. Share your stories, listen to theirs, and you will discover that this world is richly illuminated by many beautiful, colourful individuals.

Erfan, 2018

During The Seige

During The Seige

Hi Friends.

As we all knew That,We have been protesting from 2 months in Manus Island closed detention center.But we are so polite with everyone here.we don’t want terrible here.but the PNG immigration officer sometime the do really bad things here.like we were collecting water in box for drinking and use for bathroom.so yesterday they kick them.but we didn’t see anything.I have request to All of my friends in Australia. Please,Please we are in center 422 refugees. We want help from Australian government. I don’t like to be in any another camps.As Human beings. Please wake up together for our issue.And let us out to Another Country. Thanks.

  • Kamran Ali

My dear friends,

Im so sorry, i am going off from Facebook.
I don’t feel well. Don’t have much strength.

I want to use the little strength i have to fight for my rights.
I will be off until i get freedom in safe place or maybe off forever, that would mean i would be not alive.

My mum is sick,my family is so worried, can’t make them more said by my posts about our horrible situations 😢😢😢.

I have got heart pain as well. My heart is too tired 💔.

I want to ask you people again to forgive me plz 🙏🙏🙏Maybe i have hurt you by my words or action. 😭 😭 🙏🙏🙏

Im so Thankful to All my lovely friends who supporting us in every way. Plz keep supporting us until we get freedom in a safe place.

Take care, and love each others, hate can only give you a big burden which would be hard to bear.

Bye bye

Walid Zazai, 11th November 2017

FROM SHAMINDAN

For the last four and a half years time I have gone through incredible experiences but yesterday what I faced was a huge shock. The PNG authorities have destroyed the tents shelters and the water which we managed to store to drink. It’s a great human rights abuse.

I still don’t know why we are still being punished. As a human I have my right to resist being sent to danger. What has happened to me for the last four and half years was totally against my will. I never decided to come to PNG I was brought here by force. I was detained against the PNG constitution.

I’m begging you please stop pushing us. We didn’t come to your country to destroy your nation or for a luxury life. We just came to seek protection. We were tortured, persecuted and been imprisoned. What has happened? Nothing has changed. We are facing the same treatment. In fact it’s worse than what we were experienced.

Every human being has the right to live his or her life peacefully and with his or her own way. I’m again and and again saying we are human. Our families are extremely saddened and worried about us. Imagine you in this situation and act.

I’m begging you please help us. We leave our lives in your hand. Dear brother dear sister and my dear friend please help us. We are slowly dying.

  • Shamindan 11.11.2017

 

STATEMENTS GIVEN AND READ AT THE WACA ACTION OUTSIDE ABF MELBOURNE NOVEMBER1 0 2017

“We have been in a peaceful protest for more than 100 days. We have shown peaceful resistance to send a message that we are not going to leave this prison camp for another prison camp.  We did not come to PNG by our will. Australia exiled us by force to this country and has kept us in this prison camp for nearly five years even though we have committed no crime.  PNG is insisting on moving us under pressure and force to another prison camp.  Right now they are taking down the fences and they have put signs around saying we have 2 days to move to another prison and if we do not move then they will move us by force.  Using force is completely unacceptable.  We have been totally peaceful and even silent in our daily protest.  We do not want to move from one prison to another. Forcing us to live in PNG is against international law.  The obligation is to protect refugees not force them into danger.  We are resisting peacefully.  We are asking again for safety and freedom in a third country”.
– Behrouz Boochani

“This afternoon the PNG authorities and police came to the compound and put up a notice and the notice is saying we have to move out of this camp within 48 hours. If we refuse to move they will move us by force. They are saying this place is condemned because of the health issues so we should move.

They are removing the fences around the camp. They are also going to lock some gates between the compounds to shrink us and stop us from freely moving inside the camp.

The situation in the camp is intensively getting worse. The guys are firmly determined to remain in the MRPC. We are all united. We have become one family and brothers because of these circumstances”.

  • Shamindan

 A DEPLORABLE VERDICT WHILST HUMANANITARIN CRISES.
We are vulnerable refugees. We have always respected the local and national laws of PNG. We forwarded our Humanitarian crisis and issues to the apex court of the hosting nation to get some relief but in vain. Instead of getting some relief, we have been pushed into other issues that lead to nowhere. We have taken a solemn pledge to adhere to our plight of resistance against the swap of one detention with another,.despite the the withdrawal of all amenities in a meeting. We can’t afford to bid for a extremely dangerous area of the island. 


All the human rights bodies of wold know well about our plight of deprivation deprivation and indignity meted out to us, for the last four half years. They are standing by us and supporting us to their utmost. We are extremely grateful to them as well as the world Media personnel and dailies for their untold endeavors to envisage our oppression before the world nations and bodies. We also appreciate the Australian kind people and political parties activists who came out in a big number in support and solidarity. May God bless them all.

  • Naeem Bangash

 

Hello dear Australian public – the proudest and bravest people..Four years ago we arrived on Christmas Island and then they sent us here for to Manus for processing… We didn’t come here voluntarily They brought us here by force and put us here in this prison..After they brought us here, from that day onwards we never heard any good news only torturous, stressed and sad bad news.. They put 50 guys into each tent and those compound’s names are Oscar and Delta – a small room with four people in each room where barley two people should be.. Fox compound and Mike are all the same.. Here our brothers lost their minds – lost soo many things. Sooo many things Australian Immigration have done to us.. I haven’t compassion in one person.. Here we lost 6 friends those who was came here for a peaceful life but they were killed here 😢😢 Now they have left us here in darkness They have stopped everything – water food and power. They thought when we stop all of this they will all surely die there because they were convinced that we would have no way to get food..but the Australian public you have helped us sooo much and through you we got some food through by boat There was a small generator left in the compound, today when they found that they took that too.. The Australian Government has done too much to us… Now we are in darkness and suffering and under even more stress because of this horrible situation..The people in my country? We would never do this to strangers – those who came to me and trusted me? I would protect them and keep them safe. When i was a kid I was taught to respect humanity and treat everyone well. When we see what people are doing for us with lots and lots of protests – for us it gives so much hope to each one and every one here.. We are sooo proud on Australian activists.. No not activists.. We are all a family now..Soo I have a big request to the Australian public please do your best just don’t stop your voices.. Your voice can change the world… Your voice has more power than the Government.. Unity and strength can change everything

  • Jon Snow

Sent out of Manus Prison Camp 6th November 2017

The PNG Minister for Immigration said yesterday that some people here act as leaders to influence the others and stop them from moving to East Lorengau.
We made this video to show he is just trying to make excuses in the media.
Of course, all his words yesterday were just like ABF telling him.
Some people moved outside and we didn’t tell them anything.
There’s no leaders here.
We are just here coz we need a solution for our situation.
We didn’t ask the Australian government to build another detention centre for us.
Seeking asylum is not a Crime.
We haven’t committed any crime to put us in prison for four years and half.
Yet still they want us to move to another detention centre after all the suffering and torture here.
We were brought here against our will and during the four years we got treated less than animals.
So, they are the one who are making crimes against our humanity and against the international laws.
We decided to stand up this time and we are not going to move to anywhere else in this country that you brought us to against our will.
” Enough is enough ”
Plz take us from this country coz we want to be out of this hell more than anyone.
– @ManusAlert

 

We lost each and everything.

I have seen many many tears

for last four years.

  • Kaleem

 

They have a plan to kill us here

Someone has got heart attack

But no one care

  • KZ

 

A message from Manus detention centre.
Please share this letter as much as you can
TO THE ALL RED CROSS ORGANIZATIONS OF THE WHOLE WORLD, HELLO.
There is a human tragedy on manus Island going on from one week ago.
The Australian government has cut power, water, food, medical services and every other things from detainees in its torturing center on manus Island after more than 4 years torturing them in different ways. It is only because they don’t want to leave the camp a live in PNG.
The security guards and the all other staff left us all alone since 30th October 2017.
There’s no any guard around the camp only two mobile police squad which try to stop the boats which detainees hire to get the food to the camp to survive on. Some of the navy staff help the police in doing that too.
In the whole world police and armed forces are organized to help people but in PNG it is different.
They are trying to stop anyone who tries to get food or water for detainees on manus Island torturing center.
There is only one way to get food and necessary things to camp which is using the boats from lorengua town to the camp.
They also frightened and threatened local local people to not sell anything to detainees.
In this terrible situation which the two governments of Australia and PNG have put their hands on detainees necks, we want and ask the RED CROSS AND THE RED CRESCENT ORGANIZATIONS of the all countries to act so urgently and rescue detainees from the cruelty of those two governments which are the first and the most professionals in committing inhumane actions against refugees.
We are asking you to rescue and set us free which is the most important thing for us.
Australia has taken us as political hostages. They do not want to take us to Australia and they don’t let us go to New Zealand or Canada where they welcome us to their countries.
Please help to stop this human tragedy. We need a very urgent help. Please help us.

  • M.

 

My plea for my life

The Australian Prime Minister has again rejected the New Zealand offer saying if they let us go to Zealand the boats will come. So when they settle us in USA the people smugglers won’t start the smuggling? Or is he indirectly saying he won’t settle us anywhere but will sacrifice our lives forever for his political career?

This has been a human rights breach. For the last four and half years they have been torturing us. For the last six days the Australian government officially stopped food water and electricity and sanitation. If we are extremely sick we can’t get any medical service. Our only option is to die as the world watches.
It’s an international obligation to help us but no one willing to. Where is UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations? We are slowly dying. There are solutions but most of the Australian politicians prefer to keep destroying our lives. There is no hope for our futures.

So now we have no hope.

I have a question for the Australian government and the world. What are you going to do?
Will you watch us die here in this hell?

DEAR AUSTRALIAN SUPPORTERS. MY HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU ALL FOR KEEP SUPPORTING US. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU TOO, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO NEXT? WE LEAVE OUR LIVES ON YOUR HANDS.

  • Shamindan
We r still surviving
despite all hardship and starvation
Yet alive and ready to not give up
no matter what my dear
Dying on our feet
rather than living on our knees
– Abdi

 

EXTERMINATION OF REFUGEES IN MRPC IS UNDER WAY ACCORDING TO THE PLAN.

People are starving and hunger and and thirst is everywhere in camp. Locals and churches are trying their best to provide food and water in the camp for the starving people. People have no electricity so when they tried to get help from the nearby home and a kind woman wanted to help with charging phones, a huge contingent of Navy and police arrived to arrest the woman and confiscate the phone sets. She was continously weeping and crying over the situation happening with these helpless people. She still vows to help us through every possible help according to her capacity. Everyone is barred from outside to provide some Humanitarian needs, but in vain. Even it is not possible to take some stuff stealthily with the help of locals living around,even locals tried to help us with their meager resources but in vain. A Humanitarian crisis is looming sooner or later if no help get in from the outside world. They are adamant to close the so called RPC through force and starvation. No sewage system is working anymore and filth will cause the epidemic of dysentery pretty much soon. We appeal to the outside world to assert every possible pressure on the authorities concerned to allow some help insd the camp for relief.

  • Naeem
Someone left camp to hillside house yesterday
but he came back again today
He had bad feeling over there.
Only food and water there.
He said if we be hungry here
its better than there.
–  KZ #Manus
I AM A REALITY
You recognize me from my words
You never see my self and meet me
I am a reality
I’m a real experience of pain
People are different
Even us in here
– K #Manus

 

MOTHER NATURE’S KINDNESS.

“The Australian government has disconnected the electricity and stopped the water supply. We were starving and was very thirst.

We couldn’t use toilet or have a shower to cool our body to prevent get burn from the heat because we run out of water. We were pleading to the government show some compassion on us but they didn’t listen to our plead.

It was extremely hot here and it would be very had when you do not have a shower. The government and the politicians didn’t listen to us or didn’t open up their mind and heart but the Mother Nature poured down the water to her sons who were suffering on Manus detention hell with rain. We had a shower and feel comfortable with Mother Nature’s kindness. For me I don’t think it’s rain it’s the natur’s and the people’s tears who are crying and worrying for the 600 men who are suffering.

Thank you to the rain which let us to have a shower today. It’s very clear the government can stop the water but can not stop the nature”.

  • Shamindan #Manus

 

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING US

The whole world is watching what the Australian Government is doing with us as they walk away from us today after four and a half years of hell and leave us in more fear.

Sooo I just want to ask the Australian Government, is this your humanity?

Do you have any heart.

Shame on you shame on you.

We are all sooo proud on Senator Nick McKim. He is the most wonderful person and I just want to share my thanks and respect to him because today he came to visit us and showed his solidarity with us..we have no words for him.. Australia needs more like him.

He saw everything for his own eyes that the Australian Government is doing with us – no water no food and no power. So how can you stop this on us and leave us all behind? Just think if someone did this to your son or brother and your family?  What would you feel?  You know how much pain our families are feeling today? They are so worried.

You have no humanity. You have no mercy. We are human just the same as you. We have no security and we are just alone in this compound. Everyone is feeling sooo scared and stressed. If anything happens you are responsible Peter Dutton. I know you have power you think you have everything but there is a greater power than you called God. God never ever forgives those people who hurt humanity and innocent people and children. God will ask you one day what did you do with us. We all belong to God. God says you should respect humanity and refugees. You can try and hide everything but you will never hide your wrong doings from God – he sees you.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, Voice From Manus,,,,,,,,,,,,

A single day out of 1516

I am from Burma and I am 67 years old

 

 

 

 

 

image c. Janet Galbraith

I am from Burma and I am 67 years old

as told to Farhad Shah by a Burmese woman detained on Nauru 2017
Voiced by Janet Galbraith
A woman from Burma held hostage in Nauru for more than 4 years now asked F.S. to share her story.
Thank you to F.S. for your sensitive work.
Her story was part of WTF's empty chair installation at QPF 2017.

 

IMRAN MOHAMMAD

FOUR YEARS IN A BUNK BED

 

 

Transcript:

The bunk has become my entire world. A cave, coffin and a grave.

Regardless of how people see it, it is the weakness of my tears of anguish, my happiness, my hopelessness, my grief, and this maturity I have developed beyond my years in this deathly setting.

No one can see the memories I have shared with this bunk bed over the past four years unless they have seen it through my eyes, seen it as I see it.

It’d be nothing less than a big surprise for others, peer through my lenses.

It was an open wound at the beginning, as I was not allowed to cover it with anything. On top of everything else I had only one bed sheet to protect me from the heat, to erase my sweat and endless tears.

As years passed I started ripping paper boxes. And my clothing around my bunk I swapped some packets of cigarettes for a blue bed sheet. My white private room becoming a colourful world.

I am surrounded by people. They’re like skeletons, their brains are not functioning, their hearts are not beating anymore. I open the door of my little makeshift room and retire in my cave.

The light of the colours loosen my heart and make my brain work smoothly giving me a sense of freedom. There are pictures and, there are pictures of birds and trees on my bedsheet. There are prints of lions, cats and monkeys on my blanket. The flowers and butterflies keep playing throughout the days and nights. The song that they sing helps me talk to them. Angel moon.

There is a hole in the roof which is on the right side of my bunk. I correspond with my angel moon through this tiny hole. My small world glitters in the moonlight and the little flashes of light produces sparks of hope in my heart. My angel moon informs me so that I don’t get lost in the darkness from where I am unlikely to bounce back.

We laugh, cry, play, talk, make memories and I listen to my angel moon’s songs throughout the night. It forms my world with the feeling of safety, love and compassion. There is peace in my little home, a peace I’ve been seeking from a very young age.

In town, I am lost, frightened, suffocated. Being free is not normal anymore. In my bunk is where I belong. No jealousy, animosity, fight, cruelty, inhumanity, racism, religion and inferiority in my home. My entire world is full of love, acceptance, compassion and respect. I love my bunk because it has given me so much to live for and a lot to write about. It has made me the person who I have become. I don’t know what I would be without it.

Kazem

Kazem is a heavy metal musician and poet from Kurdistan. He is currently incarcerated on Manus Island.

……..

 

Unreal Sin

Cold feeling of unreal sin

Is suffering me. I cannot talk

‘Cause this’ not a logical world

You have given me an unreal sin.

 

You set me on the fire of your anger-

It’s probably better that its fallen apart.

I want to talk although the love’s gone

I want to talk despite the ruin done.

 

The twilight space between us

Is giving me a stifling feeling

My pulse is getting weak, you know?

You judged me ’cause of no sin.

 

I don’t deserve to bear the pain

No darling, no, not accused of betrayal

I don’t deserve to bear the pain

The moment’s gone ’cause of you.

 

I know the love is beyond help

Darling?  Your verdict is irresistible.

I want to talk although the love’s gone

I want to talk despite the ruin done.

 

  • Kazem February 2018

 

Please listen to this poem in Farsi with guitar accompaniment at the link just below:

An unpassable bridge 2017-07-31 Kazem poem 2

image by Hannah Patchett

 

 

 

 

 

 

An un-passable bridge

My guitar is my soul mate nowadays
I don’t care for the world anymore
I play my guitar with a heart full of sadness
My eyes drizzle like rain.

My heart is absent minded.
It’s going to tell the secret words.
It has a heavy pain to reveal.
It is profoundly sad,
sad like someone who has lost his sweetheart.
It has many words to say
but there are no worthy people to talk to.

My restless heart wants to fly
to take a message to someone.
But what benefit is there when there is no way to fly
My heart is exhausted from waiting and effort.
It’s breathless and alone.
It’s become weak.
It’s looking for a way to fly.

My heart with a hidden secret
and a world full of wounds in a jail
has no path to freedom.
It’s been condemned to a sorrowful separation.

I wish there was a kind person to give a chance to this prisoner
Give him a smile again as a gift.
Let him free from fetters and alienation.
What a pity that it’s all a dream!
My helpless heart has never seen bliss.
The jailer is bringing new chains to fasten.
This is a different prison
Oh, banish the sorrow of my unblessed heart.

I’m like an iron, you know, I am strong!

The white demons have arrived with anger
to promise another Reza’s death.
They have sharp claws
They are roaring
The ground is wet from blood
though no-one has been killed yet.

They want a volunteer.
Someone like Reza Barrati.
Someone to be annihilated again.
The white demons are starving again.
They want to feed themselves with my own body
and celebrate until the next day.
They have no sorrow, no sadness, no pain.

My mother, my love, be strong.
I know it’s hard to say goodbye to your son.

Without seeing it, I can read the verdict:
My young body must be killed.
There is no sign for humanity.
There are no rights for humanity.
Power is in the hands of wicked people.
They have made the world
an un-passable bridge.

Kazem

Kaveh

Humanity

Nowadays, there is no foundation for the concept of humanity,

no understanding of humanity itself.

It’s name remains from the past, and this is the only sign for humanity – its name.

The only sign of humanity is its name.

I’m staggered by human beings – they are social creatures.

I’m staggered by the society that they have now formed.

Human beings and their societies stagger me.

I’m staggered by wickedness, by the wrong behaviour of humans.

Elders from the past were a guide for the demonstration of humanity.

They aspired to live well so to manifest the nature of humanity.

Wickedness and wrong behaviour now stagger me.

There is no longer any word for human or humanity.

The opposite only exists .

The description of humanity does not depend on any religion, race or ethnicity,

no, not the description of humanity.

You find humanity. It is not something to buy.

It’s achievable, it’s obtainable, it’s retainable.

I mean the name of humanity.

Turn on the luminous light of humanity now, today.

Don’t be silent, and useless. Don’t draw back from the name of humanity.

The name human and humanity are valuable – an alchemist’s gem.

Don’t make the noble and great name disgraceful and contemptible.

Do your best to serve people, love them, be kind with them, until you are present;

until you live again under the glorious and magnificent name of humanity

– Kaveh

Translation: Moones Mansoube with Ahmad A. and Janet Galbraith

Nightmare

To the creator of the July 19 2013 Policy.

It’s morning now and I see the outside

Manus sky is still above my head

My feet are weak and the ground is feeble

The sun is shining, hotter than yesterday

Again another repetition, again another day

Our surroundings are closed, all around a bunch of fences

We see the same faces, same people

their faces have been empty of laugher for so long.

Although the world is colourful, big and beautiful

Our world has been gloomy, tiny and dark for so long.

We are all similar. Our pains are similar.

If we are frightened and nervous, there will be no one to listen

To our agonies and stories.

If we are in an awful situation with too much misery

There will be no one found, to solve even one problem,

No-one who will be as balm and make us happy.

But I have a close friend, a companion

My cigarette, burning beside me, burning like me.

Sorry, I talked a lot without introducing myself:

We are a bunch of luckless victims of 19th of July who have been sacrificed.

But I don’t know why, what we had done.

On what basis we were chosen that we were separated from them, and moved.

We were brought from Christmas Island of Australia to here, I mean Manus Island, one of the

offshore detentions of Australia. It has been a long time that I’ve had this question

‘What made the difference between us and those coming on a same boat that day?”

You let them settle in the land and they’re livin to stay

After that law, after that year, after that month, after that day

This is the biggest injustice that I’ve ever seen in the world still

We’re in limbo here, living in the dream of going to the USA.

You’ve been keepin us for so long illegally

You’ve shown no respect, neither to law nor to the PNG court rule

With all your inhumane bad behaviour

We are still hostages hungering for freedom

You have violated human rights, why?

I was askin why, why several times

But they have been useless, my words, my questions –

Useless.

If I object, I protest in PNG, they will reply that ‘you’re on Manus, country of PNG

You will face the law of PNG’.

But who’s listenin to these words?

Hey mate, take it from me I know you’re busy, busy with politics, interests and war

But have a bit of heart at least

How can you place your head on the pillow at night

with peace of mind?

Refugees on Manus, on Nauru, each of them

Has become sick and depressed, got shattered internally

In order for you to achieve your goals and interests easily.

Open your eyes wake up! this is a reality. After all the damages we just need support.

If bringing us to the offshore was to close the ocean routes and stop the boats –

It has been so long that no boats have arrived. Stand up! Time is up, why are you killing time?

Make a decision based on logic and sanity. Don’t let us become more pissed off.

We are teetering on the edge of insanity

Either you give us a hand and help us, let us free, we are human,

Or shoot the final bullet and get rid of us.

I don’t wanna beg anymore.

I am looking for a deep sleep so as to get permanent relief

– Kaveh (Manus)

Translation Moones Mansoube