Dear Ms Andrews,
I am a friend of the Centre for a Compassionate Society, which is based in the electorate of Melbourne. I live in the electorate of ***. We have committed to writing a letter to your government every week until all refugees and asylum-seekers who remain on Nauru and in PNG under Operation Sovereign Borders are appropriately re-settled. We also seek humane treatment for refugees and asylum seekers on-shore. We are copying this letter to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.
The following is a message to you from one refugee who is currently detained in the Park Hotel, along with 43 others.
He says: I love Australia, I love its people, but these policies are terrible. I think Australia is a beautiful country, a peaceful country which understand justice. I have respect for Karen Andrews. This detention is ruining my mind. I want to be busy, to go to gym but I can’t, I have no energy. I have no control over my life. I ask myself, “how many seasons are there in Australia”, because in here I have only one season.
Minister, this suffering is so unnecessary. We recognise that boat turn backs are preventing further arrivals. The ongoing detention of these refugees and asylum seekers off-shore and in places like MITA and the Park Hotel serves no purpose other than to further crush the spirits of people who are already thoroughly demoralised. Will you:
1. Release all asylum seekers and refugees currently detained under Operation Sovereign Borders into the community and commit to achieving permanent settlement options for them this year?
2. Set a limit of 6 months on the length of time that anyone can be kept in immigration detention?
Send your letter to Ms Karen Andrews: firstname.lastname@example.org (Minister for Home Affairs).
You could cc it to Ms Kristina Keneally: email@example.com (Shadow minister for Immigration and Home affairs), and to your local Federal MP.