Boochani: Five years of detention

“Today marks 5yrs imprisonment of 2000 innocent children, women and men on Manus & Nauru. For us this is 5yrs of suffering and 12 young lives cruelly taken. It is countless pleas for justice ignored. For the government this is 5yrs of lying, torturing & propaganda. Such a dark day.”  – Behrouz Boochani

Refugees, asylum seekers and advocates have marked five years since the reintroduction of Australia’s mandatory offshore detention policy. Iranian journalist and refugee Behrouz Boochani called the milestone “a dark day,” accusing the federal government “of lying, torturing and propaganda”. Human Rights Watch Australia director Elaine Pearson said “Australia has gone from being a country that once welcomed immigrants to a world leader in treating refugees with brazen cruelty” in the five years since then-prime minister Kevin Rudd announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees”. Vigils around the country have been planned to remember the 12 men who have died in offshore detention since 2013. – Saturday Paper – 20 July 2018