The situation on Manus Island is becoming even harsher and potentially life threatening for the asylum seekers and refugees there. With the announcement that the Manus Island camp is to close by 31 October, the authorities are putting enormous pressure on the men to move to a so-called “transit centre” in East Lorengau – about half an hour away from the existing camp.

Of the 900 men currently in the existing camp, 730 have had positive refugee assessments. If the authorities have their way, the Lorengau transit camp, which was built and insured for 298, will be filled with 800 men. There is no medical facility there; people must attend the local hospital.

It means that they will be living among the local people – in a situation where many locals are very hostile to them. There have already been a significant number of attacks on the refugees with muggings, beatings and attacks with knives now documented.

The existing camp on Manus is being progressively shut down – forcing the people there into overcrowded and makeshift accommodation in other parts of the camp. Water and power is being turned off in some sections. The exercise area has been closed, English language classes ended, most things removed for sale from the small canteen and case managers no longer given access. Officials simply repeat that the men have the possibility either of returning to their home country or settling in PNG.

The ARAN National Committee has collated this material to support ARAN member groups and others in the BRING THE REFUGEES TO SAFETY campaign.

1. ARAN member groups are encouraged to plan actions at MP’s offices during:

a. week beginning 21 August and/or week beginning 28 August
b. week beginning 18 September and/or week beginning 25 September
Ideally plan to do repeat or rolling actions if possible.

We suggest the following key messages for signage and placards:

Manus and Nauru Not Safe for Refugees
Bring Them Here!

Additional suggested slogans – or do your own:
· Manus and Nauru – Not Safe for Refugees. Bring Them Here!
· Don’t Abandon Vulnerable People on Manus and Nauru
· End the cruelty on Manus Island – Bring the refugees to safety
· Justice. Freedom. Compassion. That’s want what we all want.
· Refugees. In different circumstances, they could be you.
· Refugees need protection not punishment. Bring them here.
· They asked for safety. Australia must provide it.
· How long must they wait?
· Fairness or Fear. It’s your choice, (insert MP’s name).
· Life or Limbo. It’s your choice, (insert MP’s name).
· Decency or Danger. It’s your choice, (insert MP’s name)
· Dump Dutton’s Dirty Deal

IMPORTANT – As soon as you have details PLEASE LET THE ARAN COMMITTEE KNOW ABOUT YOUR ACTION – (and afterwards send photos with brief description ) – and we will share on the ARAN Facebook and the ARAN website. Fill in the online form here or email or message our Facebook page here

2. Letter writing & Lobbying

We encourage all groups to email, write, call local MPs, the Prime Minister’s office, Peter Dutton, Bill Shorten and Shayne Neumann – let’s work together to get our voices heard. See details below.

3. National Day of Action – rallies being organised for Sunday 8 October (more details to follow)

RESOURCES FOR ACTIONS at MPs offices – and stalls

Poster – you can add your local details to promote your action

Proforma Press release – add details of your group and spokesperson – and invite the local media to attend your action/s

Statement – PNG and Nauru not safe for Refugees – get signatures and provide to your local MP.

Men on Manus Handouts – Imran, Farhad, Madu, Naseem – these can be used in conjunction with your actions at MPs office, use as handouts, provide to your MP with the signed statement – or enclose with letters to politicians.

Offshore suffering photos zip file (2.4 MB)

Postcards – use on stalls – printable versions to send to Malcolm Turnbull, Peter Dutton, Bill Shorten, Shayne Neumann or all in one file.

Image at right: I am peaceful by Farhad Bandesh (use as a placard or on leaflets)

Info for emails, letters and phone calls to politicians

All direct contact with politicians is worthwhile – it’s important that they hear from us! (and often).

Please plan to phone and send either an email or a letter. See contact details for politicians below.

Phone calls to their offices are recorded – so the more they get the better. Phone calls can be brief, and a simple message to register your disapproval of the current policy and approach, and to give the message that refugees and people seeking asylum on Manus Island and Nauru should be brought to safety immediately.

Emails and letters: These can be quite brief, or more expansive. The main thing is to send something.

Postcard: You can use the prepared postcard – add a personal note and put together in an envelope.

PS – if you are sending letters or postcards, you could print off one of the Men of Manus handouts and also include that.

Points to mention: (select from these – or add your own of course! )
For the past four years successive Australian governments have chosen to make people seeking safety suffer in offshore detention.
Four years of abuse, four years in limbo.
Now, the government is preparing to abandon these men, women and children on Manus and Nauru.
In early August, yet another refugee died on Manus Island. We mourn Hamed Shmashiripour, and the other 7 people who have died in off shore camps.
We stand with those who are still being abused. And we demand everyone be brought to safety.
The Manus Island detention centre is being demolished, but the men have nowhere safe to go.
The US deal won’t provide safety for the majority of these people.
These people need to be brought to safety in Australia.

More expansive points:

· Australia must uphold our obligations under international law and conventions to act with humanity, decency and fairness toward people who are seeking safety and refuge.

· The recent death of Hamed Shmashiripour on Manus Island, whether due to the deterioration of his mental health caused by indefinite detention, or due to an assault by local people, is the latest in a long line of tragedies which must not be allowed to continue.

· Eight people have lost their lives in offshore detention and there are regular reports of assaults and abuse. All who remain in limbo on Manus Island and Nauru continue to suffer the anguish of sustained uncertainty, and real and present fears for their safety.

· The Manus Island detention centre is being closed down around the 900 men currently there, forcing them into an unwelcoming and threatening community. There have been several reported assaults on refugees in the PNG and Nauruan communities.

· The hostility of many of the local people towards the refugees in both PNG and Nauru, and the increasingly violent attacks on them, is evidence that people cannot be safely resettled in either place.

· Neither of the PNG nor Nauru have the social or economic capacity to provide a safe and secure future for refugees. The PNG government has stated that they cannot guarantee the safety of refugees in the wider community.

· Casting people adrift into these communities is a further abrogation of Australia’s responsibility, and an abuse of our regional neighbours.

· It is clear that the US “deal” to take refugees is will not provide safety for the majority of the 2,000 refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

· I am one of the very many Australians who want to see the end of this shameful chapter, and will do all that I can to welcome these people into our community.

Australia must not abandon these people – it’s time to BRING THEM HERE TO SAFETY.

CONTACT DETAILS for politicians:
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Tel: 02 6277 7700
PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

The Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection 02 6277 7860
PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

The Hon Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition (02) 6277 4022
PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

Shayne Neumann, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6277 4755
PO Box 6022, Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600

Senator Nick McKim, Greens spokesperson on Refugees (03) 6224 8899
GPO Box 896, Hobart TAS 7001

Please also send a copy to your local Federal MP as well – you can use this search tool: Find your MP or Senator to find their contact details.

Further background information

Four years too many: Offshore processing on Manus and Nauru article

Four Years Too Many Report GetUp & Human Rights Law Centre – HRLC and GetUp report featuring stories and portraits of the men held on Manus
GetUp Posters created for vigils with portraits of men held on Manus: zip file (40 MB)
GetUp Video on current Manus crisis
Messages from Manus – short video by Behrouz Boochani made for four year anniversary
Kaldor Centre have developed a factsheet on costs, last updated in May 2017, which can be found here


Articles re Hamed’s death – August 2017
“These Emails Show The Government Was Repeatedly Warned Before An Asylum Seeker’s Death” Junkee
Broken men in paradise, New York Times

Article From The Saturday Paper By Behrouz Boochani – July 2017

Statement By Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees – July 2017
Australia must end harmful practice of offshore processing

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