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.
We were most distressed to hear your announcement this week that your government is handing responsibility for the 124 refugees and asylum seekers who remain on PNG to the PNG government. For more than 8 years your government has held them in conditions where they are denied their rights to freedom and choice. Before you wash your hands of them would it not be fair to offer them more choice than either settlement in a country where they have been traumatised, or continued waiting and uncertainty? There may be some who happily choose to stay in PNG, but there are many whose experience there has led them to not feel safe. If you accepted the offer from the NZ government to resettle 150 per year, then they would have a genuine choice, and all those who wished to could be resettled and begin to rebuild their spirits and their lives.
Minister, we beg you to end this appalling chapter in our nation’s history with an act of mercy towards vulnerable people on whom this nation has inflicted so much pain.
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.