Manus Crisis 2017

ARAN calls for continued action to support refugees on Manus

26 November 2017

Over the last month thousands of people around the country have taken action to support the protest which the refugees on Manus Island are continuing.


For campaign resources see below. To post pictures of your actions send a message via the ARAN Facebook page or email ARAN

* Organise rallies and actions in cities and regional centres
* Hold signage beside roads and highways
* Vigils and street stalls – ask people to sign postcards and mail in bulk to politicians
* Actions at Federal MPs offices
* Bombard MPs with emails, postcards and phone calls and Twitter networks used tagged MPs and journalists. Use the hashtag #ManusSOS (see resources below)

Hundreds of men are sick, starving and thirsty. Just to sleep, they drag their mattresses out of crammed steel sheds to escape the searing heat. They’re living without power, water or medicine and minimal food. But they fear even more where they could be taken next. The possibility of forced removal still remains. But photographs in The Australian show the transit centres they would force the men to are not ready, and the local community has protested their arrival. Instead of bringing the men here to safety, our Government is abandoning these men in PNG, where they fear for their safety.

Watch and share this explosive footage from inside the Manus Island detention camp. (Recorded by GetUp – Nov 2017)

There is one inviolable obligation in a humanitarian crisis – and that is to preserve life. Only the Australian Government can evacuate the camps quickly enough to save lives. These men don’t have months to wait for a resettlement process to the US or New Zealand — these men need safety now.

RESOURCES FOR ACTIONS at MPs offices – and stalls

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

Updated 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.

Don’t abandon these men in PNG – Naseem, Imran – 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 Julie Bishop.

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.
  • Now, the government is abandoning the 900 men on Manus by closing the detention centre, which provided a secure environment. The PNG Government cannot guarantee their safety.
  • The UN has again condemned Australia for not meeting its obligation to these refugees and asylum seekers, and is “gravely concerned” at the ldack of planning for support services post the closure of the Manus Is. detention centre.
  • In early October, yet another refugee died on Manus Island – he took his life while in the care of the Longerau hospital for mental health issues. He and over 700 men who are recognized as refugees should have been safely resettled in Australia years ago.
  • A total of 9 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 US deal won’t provide safety for the majority of these people. The ones who remain should not be made to suffer for lack of planning or cruel indifference
  • 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 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 community, plus violence on the refugees by PNG police and defense forces.
  • The hostility of many of the local people towards the refugees in both PNG, and the increasingly violent attacks on them, is evidence that people cannot be safely resettled there
  • PNG does not 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 900 men on Manus Island.
  • The UN is concerned that Australian government is not meeting obligations to people who sought its protection, and must provide long term adequate care to prevent a humanitarian emergency. It is “gravely concerned” sufficient expertise is not being maintained in the handover of service and welfare provision with the closure of the Manus Island detention centre on 31 Octobe
  • 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.


Food, water, power to be cut at Manus detention centre, The Age, October 20

Refugees face unchecked violence on Manus, Human Rights Watch Report, October 26

Death of Tamil Refugee on Manus Is – 2 October: The latest refugee to die in Australia’s offshore detention regime, with a man found dead, apparently by suicide, on the grounds of the Lorengau hospital, where he had been sent after a previous suicide attempt. The man was a Sri Lankan Tamil and had been formally recognised as a refugee, and was legally owed protection. Staff on the island said he had been acutely mentally ill for months.  Report from The Guardian

First refugees leave for the US, Business Insider, 28 September

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

The Guardian report on $70m payout in compensation for injustice of offshore detention.  It is legal to seek asylum and to arrive by any means to do so. And it is unprincipled, immoral and indefensible to punish one group of people who have committed no crime in the name of deterring others from doing the same. The cost of learning that lesson is much more than the $70m agreed to in court this week, or the nearly $14bn Australia has spent on its border protection policies. The true cost lies in the lives ended and irreparably damaged in those places, in the diminution of Australia as a country that defends the rule of law and in the dangerous example it sets.  

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

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