Blog 3 from Imran on Manus

Imran Mohammad won the 2017 Amnesty International blog competition. He is an astonishing young writer who has been imprisoned in Australia’s prison camp in Manus Province PNG for almost 4 years now. You can find his work published in the Age, on the Amnesty website and as part of Writing Through Fences publications. His booklet detailing life in the prison camp is to be launched in the next months. Here we feature Imran’s latest blog. Please read on.

‘My relatives walked over 5,000 kilometers to reach Saudi Arabia’


Why not our life?


(image via

Yesterday I went to play soccer. After we finished we took some rest. The security officer told us: ‘Everyone go back to the compound’. I told him “I am waiting for the moon’. He said, ‘There is the moon, you can see, look up’. I saw the moon it was very big, looked beautiful. I looked and smiled at the moon and I asked the moon, ‘You light over the world so brightly. Why not our life? How long will we live in this darkness?’ The moon smiled at me and said, ‘Wait patiently please! I look around the world then I come to you’.

But still I don’t know how long it will take.

I feel restless.

  • Rahman (Manus Island August 2016)

A long dusty road

Here is the work of a man who was incarcerated on Manus for 2 years.  He returned under pressure to his country of origin only to have to flee again.  We have kept in contact and he remains part of Writing Through Fences.  Here is some of his story.


image from

Confusing life

I and a dusty road and a cloudy sky.

I and a long dusty road and a dark cloudy sky.

I and a dusty road, nobody knows where is it’s end.

I and a cloudy sky, nobody knows whether it will get rainy or not.

I and a dusty road, nobody knows how long it takes to get to the end of it.

I and a cloudy sky, nobody knows when it will be stormy or what will happen

to me and dusty road.

Maybe we will get green, maybe we will get puddle.

I and a dusty road, nobody knows whether I can get to the end of it or not.

Maybe we will become friends,

maybe we will finally part.

– M.

I am not a poet but these poems sometimes come to my mind and I can write them.  Not really my mind, they come from my heart.

Thinking about my destination… I came from other side of the world and I came through many countries to get to your country and I couldn’t.  They banished me to PNG, to that prison camp – worse than prison camp.  I went back to my country and had to run away again, to cross many countries again.  I climbed mountains, walked so far, was packed like sheep in a container for 12 hours, took taxi’s, walked so far, slept on streets in freezing rain, boats, camps, sleeping on the wet ground, sometimes in tents, much – too much walking, travelled on buses, walked so far, waited for long times stuck on bridges.

Some days we just had 2 pieces of bread.  I lost too much weight.

When I ran away I was not thinking where I would go. I just had to run away. Now. Run. During 3 years, since I first ran away, and then this second time, I crossed more than 15 countries.

Somedays, yes I get depressed because when I think about future, what will happen…  I am not young and I don’t have time for another journey – and I am a little bit tired now!

I know this country can accept me but do they want to or not?  They can, but will they?

Sometimes I think my life has been wasted.  On the other side I say to myself: Hey boy, you are trying to help yourself and many people don’t have the opportunity you have.

I have faced many kinds of people in my life.  Here, I find that people are kind.  They look at you with open face. Maybe they will accept me.  Maybe this big sky will make a storm again and I will have to stay friends with long dusty road.  Nobody knows if I can get to a destination or not.  I don’t know the answer.  I hope that someone will help me solve these problems, that they will accept me and I can stay here in a peaceful place and let go of that dusty road.

– M.


This writer from Bangladesh has been incarcerated in Manus Island detention prison for 3 years.

Read and share his beautifully heartbreaking words.


image by scrapper9000

Nature Breaks

Sometimes nature breaks down into a hundred thousand pieces

when she sees our sorrow.

But no-one realises this.

When security gives us trouble we wait patiently and look at the sky,

for nature to gives us inspiration and sympathy for our lives.

Peace is hiding from us.

There is too much distance between peace and where we are.


Of Youth

Youth is like summer flowers.

Suddenly it withers away.


  • words by Rahman (Manus Island)

What Matters – Feature Story

A message from Eaten Fish and Dismal Manus

eaten fish and dismal manus



Where is the freedom and flight?


They sign the swallow’s migration as forbidden,

surround the disordered sky with fences,

whip its wings.

Is this his only right?


When will the celebration of paper and words be?


An unsolved conundrum in a cup of tea!

They cross out the forbidden answer

and burn paper and words simultaneously.

Is this our only right?


In this wounded body,

covering its sick soul

they sign ‘forbidden’ on the flower petals,

they burn its stems.


Yes, all my rights are the light of a lantern’s flame taken from me.

They sign ‘forbidden’ on my kind moon

They burn stars and night.


When will the celebration of paper and words be seen?

  • M. 2015


On Peace: A letter to Australia


copyright WTF.

On Peace: A letter to Australia

I didn’t run from my country to come and destroy yours.
I came here to join you.
Because we both want the same “peace”
I have chosen to run
so they don’t push me
use me for their criminal plans..

I didn’t want to be victim to their goals
I am here to be united with everyone who is seeking peace

so we can be more numbers than them.
All we want is a world full of joy and peace.

That is not gonna happen if you don’t start believing in me.
I have made that choice

I came here without knowing if you will believe me or not
If you will trust me or not.
No matter what the results are

I will not regret that I have chosen to come here.

I will not regret

I have chosen peace.


  • written by I.

Hodan Macanto

This week we are featuring work by Macanto Hodan : Sisters of Hodan.  This group of women are also members of Writing Through Fences.


  • Friend and boat mate of Hodan’s



My dear Hodan caady

I’m thinking of you macnto

one day your life will turn around

your silence will make a sound

you will breathe fresh air

and you will speak loud

sing and roar louder than a lion

and those who imprisoned you will realize

they can no longer dumb your voice.

  • Hani Abdile




Falcon my friend i need your help, please fly,
fly up high, above the ocean, and give my message 💌 to Hodan,
You seek no permission,
You need no ID
You are well protected,
You won’t be harmed,
Carry my 💌 and fly,
Fly up high above Dutton,
We are grieving do not greet him he’s greedy,

🇭🇴🇩🇦🇳 💌🌷

Whisper on her ear and say,
Macanto we love you,
Macanto we need you here,
Macanto don’t leave,
Macanto we care,
Macanto we are here ,
Macanto you’re never alone
Macanto we hear you,
Macanto you’re brave,
Macanto you’re strong,
Macanto you’re amazing,
Macanto you’re beautiful,
Macanto Angels are watching,
Macanto God will heal you,
Macanto can you hear me ?
Macanto i gotta leave before the nurse comes,
May God be with you….
By Maria






‘Hodan bad’weynta burahaan daraada baafin ka dayaaye ,
hadiyaanan bari arag beerka iyo wadnaha iyo qalbiga basaaso baryi waayey awga. Baaqenu wuxu yahey Hodan qurux wanaagey Hodan taan jecleenen barito bogsan.

The following English translation is a rough summary.

The ocean and the mountains could save your heart and keep you alive but Australia couldn’t. Your heart will recover because you are beautiful, Hodan.






We’re Puppets : Poem from Nauru


“We’re Puppets”


In a black cold night

Tears falling

The CORD has been tied

Conquered feeling

I’ve nothing to lose

Soul has rusted

There’s no way to choose


I’ve got a hatred master

He’s a BEAST

The lord of POLITICS’ theater

Prisoner of KIDS

But on this black cold night

Everything will end

The cord has been tied

Escape from hell

I am not afraid

I am already dead.


  • A.  from Australia’s black site on Nauru
  • art work by Eaten Fish

Welcome to you and God bless you



Sunday 2016 – Manus Island

I would like to tell you about my visit to church. I went church for the first time in my life. It was a great visit. One of my Irani friends told me about it.

‘Let’s go for church,’ he said.

I said, ‘I am Muslim. I am not on the list’.

He said to me, ‘Doesn’t matter that you are not on the list. I will tell them’.

He is my friend.

We went to the church by bus. The church program had started when we reached there. The Transfield (Broadspectrum) gave us two kina to give a donation to the church. There were religious songs. The priest said welcome to the refugees. They met with us. The local people were very happy to see us. They had a very good response. At the end of the program, the priest priest shook hands with us.

The priest told us, ‘I saw you for the first time. Welcome to you and God bless you’. I said, ‘Thank you. God bless you too’.

There were a lot of local children and women in the church. I really like the children. We shake hands with the children and local people. They have very good response. The Transfield gave us two tickets water bottle. We distributed these to the local people. It was fun in my life.

Thanks for everyone to support and respect us.

I had a very good experience.

– Spogami