A common narrative is people washing up on tropical island after their boats have become lost at sea.

The refugees on Manus Island did embark on a dangerous voyage by boat but that is not why they are now in this predicament, at least not directly.

Fleeing their home countries for security reasons they arrived on Australian shores and asked for protection.

Unfortunately for those on Manus the Australian government had just implemented a policy to send all people who arrived by boat to offshore processing centres.

These centers are in developing nations who this colonial power can bully and bribe with money.

Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island fits the bill for this policy which seeks to send a message to other refugees that Australia is not a welcoming humanitarian country (as many believe).

After some three years of locking refugees in the derelict centre on Manus the PNG supreme court ruled this incarceration unconstitutional.

A series of events have lead to the current situation where detainees feel safer in the cage they have so longed to escape from than outside.

Even when not surrounded by wire on Manus they are still held captive by the ocean and the administrative chains which deny them the freedom we take for granted.

Fearful for their lives if they leave the center and move to the new accommodation closer to town they are now isolated.

Gradually all staff and nearly all services have been withdrawn from the center.

The 615 men have stockpiled water and food preparing for what now is an unknown future.

As  October 31 draws to a close some areas of the center still have services – power, unpotable water.

Unable to record an interview about of poor reception Farhad sent me some voice clips explaining the situation at the center.

Download from Radio4all

Terrified some men are now sleeping and others are keeping watch, ever fearful of attacks by locals.



Another Self immolation on Nauru, Protests Continue

Another refugee this time a Somali woman has self immolated on Nauru and it is feared she is brain dead.

Hodan was in RPC1 when she set herself on fire and is now being treated in the grossly inadequate Nauruan hospital.

She had attempted this act a few days ago but was stopped by onlookers. Another Iranian refugee was arrested after dousing himself with petrol on Saturday and was released on Sunday.

Hodan had just been returned from Brisbane where she was being treated for mental health issues and diabetes.

Last week three refugees from Nauru were flown back from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation.

The Refugee Action Coalition says the removals appeared to be a vindictive move by the Immigration Department to re-establish their authority following the PNG Supreme Court finding that Manus Island was unlawful.

This desperate act by Hodan basically proves she wasn’t fit to be returned to the harsh conditions on the tiny island.

The latest reports are that her condition is worse than Omid’s the man who took his life last week in a similar act. She is in a coma.

A crowd has gathered at the hospital in support.

Refugees are very agitated because of their situation, and this second self immolation is just adding to the situation on the tiny island which has reached boiling point.

Police are said to be arresting any refugee they see and there are 10 police cars at the hospital.

Locals are apparently ready to attack refugees and there are riot police ready to disperse any gathering.

Nauru hospital support


Conditions at Regional of Nauru Hospital

Despite the Australian Government claiming that conditions at the RON hospital are the same as in Australia photographic evidence proves they are not.





If you need help and support call Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.




Update on the protests by refugees at the Australian government’s detention center on Nauru

 Iranian man Omid who self immolated is feared brain dead.

Update via Insurrection News 28.04.16: For 40 days now refugee families detained in the RPC3 compound at the Australian government’s offshore refugee detention center on Nauru have been staging daily protests against the conditions of their detention and to demand that they be granted asylum in Australia. On 14.04.16. the protesting refugees wrote an open letter to the people of Australia calling on them to take action and protest in solidarity with them. The response from people in Australia has been fairly muted – some small protests and solidarity actions by small but dedicated groups of refugee solidarity activists have taken place but nothing on a large scale as of yet. The fact that Australia’s mainstream media are pretty much ignoring the protests is also a huge problem that only adds to the refugee’s overall sense of isolation and abandonment.

In the past two weeks the situation has escalated dramatically on Nauru. On 19.04.16. an Iranian Kurd refugee was arrested and charged by Nauru police after he tried to self-immolate. The man was distraught due to the fact that his one year old child has become severely mentally ill due to the conditions at the detention center. On 27.04.16. detainee ‘QLN027’ began a hunger strike outside the RPC3 compound.

There have been 2 suicide attempts in the last day and tonight refugees on Nauru said 2 refugees have swallowed razor blades.

To say that the situation on Nauru is extremely grave is an understatement. 

Finally, we have received the following poem written by Navven Nave Ravi, a former Nauru detainee. The poem is a shocking insight into the psychological trauma that has been inflicted upon the Nauru detainees – people whose only ‘crime’ was to seek a better life away from war, extreme poverty and strife.


Mentaly I am drained – yes
Spiritually I am feel dead…
Physically I am giving always…
Fake smile on my face
Because my lips can’t explain…the pain in my heart
I am loser… I hate my self
Day and each day…..a
Lettle bit more…. Yes I am
So depressed so useless…… I
Just want to go to sleep…
And never wake-up…..
You can’t possibility imagine
Exactly how much pain….surrounding my heart….
I am copping with horrible things…..
I am constantly feel-like
I am at war with my self-to
Copping each day…..
Over and over you lied me-it’s
Over and over makes more pain
Over and over I cried – then
Over and over I am tired and
Over and over I hate my self
Every single second I am passing
I hate my self……… lots
When I started to crying confront of my pain….
All the day’s I am broken…
I am alive behind the masks faces…..
It’s more suffer with loneliness
I hate myself that the things
You doing to me….. With
Your inhuman…… Power
That’s your politics… I lost myself….. I tell every one…
I am fine but reality I am dying
Every things I had it’s running
Away from my head…. I lay
In the bed for hours in the dark
Thinking about my future….but
It’s shut down completely…
I am so sad….. I hate my self
Yes……yes……. yes….
I want to sleep never ever wake up anymore

Arbitrary refugee decisions expose Manus assessment farce


Via Refugee Action Coalition

Despite various threats over the years that they would be denied protection and deported, around 60 asylum seekers on Manus Island have consistently refused to make an application to the PNG government for protection.

Their argument was simple – they arrived in Australia and asked Australia for protection, not PNG; they were transferred by Australia to PNG, against their will; any assessment in PNG does not have legitimacy and in any case, PNG is not able to provide protection.

The UNHCR has refused to be part of refugee assessments on PNG and the assessment is not recognised by any other countries. The looming constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court seems to have prompted a number of hasty organisational changes, like attempting to separate refugees from asylum seekers with negative decisions inside the detention centre.

In their efforts to intimidate asylum seekers and refugees, the PNG immigration department has arbitrarily set the end of June as a final date for all refugee determinations.

Around 45 of the asylum seekers have now been given a negative refugee assessment despite never having made an application (see See here). This is a move to try and force the asylum seekers to comply with the shonky system Australia has set up in PNG.

However, one of those who has never made an application, an Iranian asylum seeker, Behrouz Boochani, has been notified that he has been found to be a refugee. Boochani is a high profile asylum seeker; a dissident Iranian journalist who has been adopted by the international journalist association, PEN, as a political prisoner detained by Australia.

“It is obvious that the Australian government is hoping to separate the most high profile asylum seeker from others who have refused to give any legitimacy to their transfer or to the processing arrangements on Manus,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

Boochani and others were sent a demand letter last October (See here), which went unanswered.

Boochani is angry at the refugee decision and says he regards it as “illegal”. He has demanded an explanation of his positive decision given that he has made no application. His complaint letter says that he had already said, “…that I do not want to give my case to PNG and I do not want to PNG immigration to investigate my case.”

Lawyers in PNG are seeking to raise the issue at the next directions hearing in regard to the Supreme Court challenge in Port Moresby tomorrow, Thursday, 21 April.

To highlight the arbitrary nature of the processing and the lack of transparency, three asylum seekers who made applications and had been given positive assessments a year ago, have now been advised they are negative. They are seeking to appeal the negative decision.

Meanwhile the separation of those found to be refugees from those with initial negative decisions has resulted in serious over-crowding in several compounds. Delta now has over 244 people with more scheduled to come. There are already four people in each room; with no improvement in showers or toilets despite the increase in numbers.

“Australian and PNG immigration are resorting to more desperate measures to deal with a system that is in increasing disarray. The arbitrary decisions regarding those who have refused to cooperate with the system in PNG has further exposed the punitive conditions of offshore detention.

“Refugee determination is corrupt; there is no resettlement; conditions inside the detention centre deteriorate day by day,” said Ian Rintoul.

“The only way to end the farce and end the misery inflicted on those sent there by Australia, is to close Manus Island.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

First Hand Insight of Australia’s Brutal Refugee Centres


Navven Nave Ravi  journeyed to Australia seeking refuge from the trouble in Sri Lanka.

Upon arriving in Australia he found that this wealthy generally safe country was not going to provide him with the peaceful life he so badly yearned for and needed.

Drawing and writing poetry was an outlet for Navven while he spent 3 years at Nauru Regional Processing Centre and in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation.

Now living in Perth these drawings and the poetry have given him an opportunity to share with others the painful experiences he endured in those 3 years locked up despite having committed no crime.

His book From Hell to Hell has already been launched in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth and the first print run of the book has sold out.

With the help of activists a crowd funding campaign has been set up to print 1000 more books.

On Monday April 18 I spoke to Navven on 4ZZZ’s AnarchyShow.



Refugees Plight Compounded

[UPDATE: Men have been told they will be moved on April 6]

Men on Manus Island and refugee advocates are reporting that Broadspectrum (formerly Transfield) plan to transfer detainees between the compounds of the detention centre.

The plan is to separate those with a positive refugee status and those with a negative status.

Those with a positive status will be moved to Delta and Oscar compounds while those with a negative status will be moved to Foxtrot and Mike.

Reportedly they will be informed in the morning.

As the men in detention in Manus have been in the same place for almost 3 years their fellow detainees have become close almost like family.

The thought of being separated from those friends is causing much distress.

One refugee advocate who is in touch with many detainees reports that some are very angry while others say there is no hope and suicide is the only way out.

One man told me –

They are going to transfer me and I don’t know where, It will be very bad for me.

A trusted source has stated that extra security is coming and Papua New Guinea police will be on hand, workers have been asked to stay an extra week.

This may be because trouble is expected but also the presence of these guards/police will likely cause trouble just as much as it would prevent it.

Detainees have said that it is the PNG Mobile Squad who will be present.

They’ve also been told if they resist they will spend 2 days in ‘Chauka’ described by human rights defender, journalist and Manus detainee as a torture room.

After that they will be sent to Lorengau jail for 1 month, men taken there last year were allegedly tortured.

Motive behind the transfers

There are a few reasons why authorities have decided to move these men who are essentially prisoners in a concentration camp.

One of those is men positive refugee status have been refusing to leave the camp, because they fear life in the community in PNG.

The compounds they will be moved to Delta and Oscar are said to be infamous for their ‘cruel imprisonment’.

This could prompt these positive refugees to agree to be transferred to East Lorengau Refugee Resettlement Camp the first step towards living in the PNG community.

This process is problematic for many reasons.

Also this moving around could cause those with negative refugee outcome to decide to return to their home country. The refugee determination process is not a fair one and we know Australia has returned men to their home countries who have then been tortured or killed.







reza crane

Refugee Action Coalition


The Iranian asylum seeker, Reza Khestinzhad, who staged a nine hour
protest on top of a the crane on Nauru on Friday (27 November), has
been arrested by Nauruan police.

Reza was taken to the IHMS clinic on Friday, around 6.30pm, after he
ended the protest and came down from the crane.

But this morning, Sunday, 29 November, Nauruan police arrested him at
the clinic and took him to the police station, where he is being held.

Police refused to allow his sister to see him at the police station
today and indicated that he would be held until at least Wednesday,
although police have not said what charge, if any, he would face.

“We are extremely worried for Reza’s welfare,” said Ian Rintoul,
spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Reza should not be in
jail. The police are an extension of the Nauruan government that is
doing everything it can to stifle the right to protest on Nauru,
including arbitrary arrest.

“Reza’s only crime was to send a message to the world that Nauru is a
prison island.”

Meanwhile, today, Sunday 29 November, a Sri Lanka asylum seeker has
scaled a high tree near the family camp on Nauru. The asylum seeker
has been in the tree since 9am, Nauruan time.

The man, his wife and a daughter, have been held on Nauru for two and
half years.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

reza crane