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.
In his book, ‘After the Tampa’, Afghan refugee Abbas Nazari wrote of how New Zealand provided his family with ‘love, dignity and security’ so that they could rebuild their lives. He has gone on to flourish and become a contributing member of NZ society. What a contrast this is with the way that Australia rejected his boat mates, and then went on to imprison, torture and vilify so many who have bravely undertaken similar journeys in search of safety.
The refugees and asylum seekers in the Park Prison also yearn for love, dignity and security – basic human needs that we all share. Instead they have suffered prolonged indefinite detention, which in many cases has profoundly damaged their mental health, and your government’s failure to keep them safe from COVID-19. One of these refugees currently infected with COVID-19 in the Park Prison writes the following:
Mr Morrison Government I would like you to imagine what we are in and how we are… Where is your humanity today? We are anxiety about this condition. We are mentally ill. We are physically ill. And we unsafe in this condition. Please and please let us free. We want to be free. Like a member of your parliament. And we want to live like a member of your family. We don’t want to die with COVID-19.
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.