26 February 2022

Dear Ms Andrews

I am friend of the Centre for a Compassionate Society, which meets every week 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 Immigration Minister, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.

Mehdi Ali, currently detained by your government in the Park Hotel, has written this week about his memories of the days leading up to the release of a large group of asylum seekers from the Hotel over a year ago. He writes of the mixture of hopeful anticipation and trepidation that they all felt as they waited for the announcement, when time seemed to pass every more slowly than usual. He then describes the terrible silence that fell on the group that remained because they were not chosen to be released – with no explanation for why they were left behind.

The repeated experience of dashed hopes, of being kept in the dark about the reasoning behind the Department’s decisions, combined with the soul-wearying monotony of detention without end-date, is breaking these men’s spirits. Minister, these men, and others like them around Australia and off-shore, are in your hands. It is within your power to put an end to this misery. We seek reassurance that you are doing everything in your power to speedily reach agreement with the New Zealand government so that these people can at last settle in a country where they are welcomed and supported to begin to heal. 

Yours sincerely,

*

Send your letter to:

Ms Karen Andrews: karen.andrews.mp@aph.gov.au (Minister for Home Affairs).

Mr Alex Hawke: alex.hawke.mp@aph.gov.au (The Immigration Minister).

Ms Kristina Keneally: senator.keneally@aph.gov.au (Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home affairs).

The Prime Minister via his website HERE.

And to your local Federal MP.

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