A voice from Manus 26 April 2016. Please
Offshore Processing Centre Manus Island, PNG.
I am one of the refugees who has been detained on Manus Island prison under relentless torture, humiliation and discrimination. My fellow inmates and I have managed to survive under such deliberate and inhumane cruelty inflicted by Australia.
Dear friends, although we are being damaged, we appreciate your food, clothes and shelter which are provided to us by your money through your government. However, your money has been used to destroy our lives in this prison. They have played a lot of games and put too many restrictions on our lives over the last 3 years. Now they are going to play another game with us by opening the gates of our compounds. If we go out, it is not clear if we will be allowed in again, if this is a deliberate ploy to force us out into the community and what the consequences will be if we agree to their plan and let buses take us into town. We are already broken, vulnerable and hopeless, damaged physically and mentally. They are striving to show the world that we are criminals and bad people. You may have questions in the back of your mind about how they will do this.
They have always strived to push our buttons, take every option away from us and make us believe we have nothing left to lose, but now it’s become worse. I have heard from some reliable sources that your government has paid money to the local girls to continue to engage in and seek relationships with refugees. They are trying to accuse us of rape and sexual assault, to prove to the world that we are bad people. We have had more than enough of this torture. Subsequently we are in a situation in which it is difficult to choose what to do because whatever we do, there are negative consequences. Wherever we turn, we are faced with these situations. We are not provided with clear answers, not given the right to access legal representation and at every turn, we are manipulated and fed false information, which has built more desperation, mistrust and heartache amongst us.
My dearest friends of those living in Manus Island Prison, I know that we are already dead as our blood had been sucked from our bodies by enormous pain. However, we have come so far and now we can’t give up as it’s time to take our rewards. It will only be possible if we can cross this minefield cautiously and avoid the mines hidden along the way. I know it is going to be extremely tough; nevertheless we have to persevere in our attempt to obtain this victory. We need to remember that we want long term solutions. By this I mean that if one part of our bodies is affected or injured, we want a permanent solution. We don’t want a palliative solution. We have to win this battle at any cost.
To sum up, this is a message from a place of isolation to the whole world. I am a Rohingyan boy from Myanmar(Burma). I am 22 years old now. I have been persecuted and deprived of my basic human rights since I was born right up until now. I have never known safety or peace, and I have never known citizenship or a right to call any country my own. I am writing this letter on behalf of all the asylum seekers and refugees who have been detained on Manus Island offshore processing prison.
I am hoping that every living person will take a few minutes to read this message, raise their voice to protect our lives and preserve the unity of humanity. My eyes have no more tears as they have dried out and my body doesn’t feel pain any more. It’s like a long tree that has no life in it and it gets beaten by every passing living thing, like a driftwood that gets lashed by tides. However, there are lives that you can still save from this dead sea. There is nothing left that we can use to survive.
We believe this is you, the people, who can bring change to our lives. In human history, people saved other people’s lives. This is the definition of a human being.
We are here to give you our best interest in order to create one nation in which every creation is safe, can live peacefully and is equally respected. We are here to build your country, and above all, we are here to share our love with others. We want nothing except your love and a small place to rest without having the constant fear of death.
With kind and best regards.
Voice from Manus Prison.