Minister Bishop visited the Manus camp today. One man from each nationality and compound group was chosen to attend a briefing.
One man thought that Ms Bishop was an immigration officer, the other did not know.
1300 men in the four compounds Oscar, Delta, Foxtrot and Mike have been protesting peacefully each day, asking for information about their future.
They have been denied drinking water for 3 days as a result of the protests but given bottles of water for the first time today.
“We did not come to just eat and sleep like animals”
” We are not animals”
“We dont make protest with violence”
“We are not Criminals”
Ms Bishop said that she just came to listen to you and participate in discussion- all I can do is inform the PNG and Australian Government.
The men said “this is our right to protest peacefully- all we want is freedom- politicians use us as victims,
we had problem in our own country and we cannot go back now you are making us crazy.
One man said “you told us that we do 3 interviews then before 28 days we will get a response- now we are waiting 4-5 months with no response” “We have no future”.
Another man said that there were two UAMs (teenagers without parents) in the camp- that there had been more but the immigration wait until they turn 18 then say -” now you can stay.”
He also explained that 15 men were separated and sent to Manus and their wives and children were sent to Nauru- in the past 45 days they have also been sent to Nauru.
There is an old man with no teeth who cannot eat- he said that he will be the first to die.
Mehdi an iranian man who is also a Dwarf is still struggling in the Manus camp. His friends have to lift him onto the toilet or to the taps to wash his hands. No facilities have been given to make his life easy.
The conditions in the camp require men to queue for meals toilets showers everything. When it rains they are required to stand in the rain. they asked guards if they could stand under cover but were told ” no-it is nice in the rain for you”.
This man said “no one can feel that he is a human”.
They are asking for help.
Refugee Rights Coordinator
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
12 Batman St West Melbourne 3003
ph 03 9326 6066 / MOB 0417517075
“AUSTRALIA. Built by boatpeople.”