Minister Dutton 2015
Sunday, January 18, 2015 11:44 AM
Subject: Manus Island
I am writing to request that you do all in your power to close the detention centre on Manus Island and to bring the 1035 men who are currently detained there to Australia. I am deeply troubled by recent reports which describe their desperation, self harm and hunger strikes. These are desperate people, who increasingly live in great fear for their lives. You will be aware that it was recently reported that locals massed menacingly outside the centre and that local staff vandalised the kitchen in one of the compounds. We are now almost at the anniversary of the terrible violence last year which left one asylum seeker dead and many more injured. It is unsurprising therefore that asylum seekers on Manus are resorting to desperate measures to bring their plight to the attention of the world.
It is a matter of record that many locals in PNG are very hostile towards the refugees. Prospects for their resettlement in PNG are therefore remote, particularly as this is a very poor country with limited services and resources for the population.
Australia has a duty under international law to ensure the safety of asylum seekers. They are our responsibility.They should therefore be transferred to Australia and have their asylum claims properly and fairly assessed. Those found requiring our protection should be offered resettlement in Australia.
I strongly object to the current costly, damaging and punitive offshore regime. Many PNG nationals and community leaders also strongly object to these arrangements which have been foisted on PNG in return for aid assistance.
We are better than this. Will you bring this ugly and shameful policy to an end?
I look forward to hearing from you.
3rd January 2015