Remember those slowly dying of Australia's deterrence policy


While we indulge in grief & sorrow for the young boy lost on European shores, we cannot forget that children, men & women are being punished in Australian deterrent detention camps for making precisely the same voyage by boat to Australia's shores.

The current wide spread concern for refugees drowning in the ocean must not be divorced from the slow deaths and tortures that refugees are experiencing in Australian run detention centres. A writer detained for 26 months on Manus Island has written a letter stating: ‘I wish I too had died in the ocean’.

Poet Kaveh Arya released a poem on facebook following the circulation of images of the young Kurdish boy Aylan Kurdi who had drowned whilst seeking asylum with his family. The final line of the poem being: ‘we love dead children more’.

Natasha Blucher, former STC worker on Nauru reminds us in a letter published in the NT Times that we must also ‘[g]rieve for the 110 children in detention in Australia, who are not dead but are still becoming lifeless’.

While we indulge in grief and sorrow for the beautiful boy lost on the shores of Europe, we cannot allow ourselves to forget that children, men and women who have are being punished in our deterrent detention camps for making precisely the same voyage by boat to our shores.

Nazanin and her remaining family made that voyage. In May Nazanin was raped and had to be flown to Australia for medical care. Nazanin is also someone’s child. Her mother is grieving the rape and subsequent trauma that Nazanin has suffered under the watch of the Australian government and the unbearable separation she is forced to endure as she remains detained in Nauru with little access to information on how her daughter is, whilst always aware that Nazanin could be returned at any moment.

‘If Nazanin comes back she will die. We know she will kill herself. We have watched for long time how scared she is. There is no safe place here. She needs to be in safe place’, says her family.

Trauma Specialist Dr Helen Driscoll reiterates this: ‘To return Nazanin to Nauru violates every foundation imperative in clinical and human responses to her life threatening trauma and consequent impact . .. To return her is dooming her to die. No ethical clinician in the field of trauma would support a return to Nauru’

Researchers Against Black Sites calls on people to demand that Nazanin is not returned to Nauru and that her mother and brother are brought to Australia to be with her.

They also call on people to remember all those held in Australian run detention centres in Manus Island and Nauru.



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