Update 1/11/17: Amnesty International Pacific Researcher Kate Schuetze is currently on the ground on Manus Island, documenting what is happening as the centre closes. We are deeply concerned by what we are witnessing. Moving people from one abusive location to another does nothing more than paper over the cracks of this abusive system. Please keep taking action.
The 2,200 people that the Australian Government has trapped on Nauru and Manus Island cannot wait for safety any longer. With the US/Australia settlement deal still uncertain and ongoing deaths and injuries to people seeking asylum, the Government and Opposition must put people before politics and must immediately bring people to safety here in Australia.
Last year Amnesty’s most senior researcher, Anna Neistat, visited Nauru and recorded the great lengths the Australian Government is going to to deliberately inflict suffering on people seeking safety and to hide these abuses from the world. She said the Government had “designed a system of deliberate abuse” to deter people seeking safety who arrive by boat.
Many people trapped on Manus Island and Nauru suffer from serious mental health problems which are inadequately treated and exacerbated by the appalling conditions in which they’re forced to live. Anxiety, self-harm and suicide attempts are frequent, with children as young as nine speaking openly about wanting to end their lives.
“People here don’t have a real life. We are just surviving. We are dead souls in living bodies. We are just husks. We don’t have any hope or motivation.”
– A woman interviewed by the researchers