Perth joins the rally to “bring home” Manus Island asylum seekers

By Eunice Lau

Forest Place was filled with the powerful chant of hundreds of protestors demanding the immediate and safe resettlement of the asylum seekers on Manus Island in Australia, on Sunday.   

Around 600 men at Australia’s Manus Island detention centre were cut-off basic needs such as food and water after the Papua New Guinea supreme court ruled the centre to be unconstitutional.

The men have been unwilling to relocateto East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre, fearing for their lives.

Refugee Activists Action Network member Sally Thompson said the fears are not unfounded. 

“They rightly fear it because of past experiences of men who have tried to transfer to east Lorengau and have been badly injured by attacks, who have been robbed,” she said.

Protestors representing various communities and demographics came to voice their concerns for what Ms Thompson said was a “dire” situation.  

“There is no IHMS, International Health and Medical Services available, no doctors or nurses or ambulances are being allowed into the camp,” she said

Recently, Prime Minister Turnbull rejected New Zealand prime minister Jacinta Ardern’s offer to resettle 150 of the refugees.

Ms Thompson said the decision was horrifying, a response echoed my Greens Upper House MP Alison Xamon.

“It’s absolutely disgraceful that our prime minster has had anything to do with denying very vulnerable men any access to freedom, anything that’s going to put an end to this humanitarian crisis,” she said.

“I am ashamed to be Australian,” she said.

Protestors said the government has abandoned these asylum seekers after detaining them for four years only to relocate them to another ‘prison’ as they echoed the pleas for help from the men on Manus Island in a show of solidarity.


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