Refugee update: GetUp blocked from Manus Island

Posted by
1st March 2013

From one hell to another. Children as young as 10 are fleeing extreme violence only to find out that what’s on the other side is more uncertainty, more suffering. These are the children of Australia’s Manus Island detention centre.

I was hoping to be bringing you news today from PNG, where asylum seekers inside the Manus Island detention centre asked GetUp and child advocacy group ChilOut to visit. We had our immunisations and started our anti-malarials, but we’ve just been refused visas to visit the asylum seekers.

Click on the video below to watch a brief message from me explaining what happened, and our plan to help the 34 children and more than 200 adults currently detained on Manus to get their stories out.

Click here to view the video
Click on the video to watch

With both major parties committed to detaining asylum-seekers in shocking offshore camps, it’s easy for our anger to turn into despair. But I’ve received many emails and phone calls from GetUp members over the past few months encouraging us not to give up — to keep campaigning for fair treatment of asylum seekers. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to do.

We can’t let offshore processing mean asylum seekers are kept out of sight and out of mind. The only way out of this downward spiral on asylum-seeker policy is to show Australia what offshore processing really means. At the moment, even journalists at the ABC have been refused the ability to visit the detention centres, so we’re doing our very best to help asylum seekers get their stories out despite the obstacles.

Our new immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor has just returned from Manus Island. We were shocked to hear that he thinks the conditions of the detention centre are “adequate”. That’s the opposite of what UNHCR have said, and what we’re still hearing from our sources on the ground. We can’t take his word for it until there is independent Australian monitoring of human rights, accountability and transparency off-shore.

Click here to find out more:

Sam, for the GetUp team.

PS – In the coming fortnight the Senate will debate an Australian Greens’ proposal that would allow the media and the Australian Human Rights Commission access to off-shore detention centers, like those on Manus Island and Nauru. If there is nothing to hide on Manus Island and Nauru, all parliamentarians should support the Greens’ proposal. In the meantime, we can do our part by getting the stories of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres to the media and the politicians who are playing games with some of the world’s most desperate children:

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  • Freddy Got Fingered

    Why detain them on Manus island at all? Just send them back where they came from.Sri Lankan civil war ended years ago, we have no need for unskilled economic migrants who speak poor english and can’t drive motor vehicles.

  • Farman Ali

    People living on manus island and nauru are not from srilanka only but pakistan, afghanistan, iran and iraq where the condition is worse, bettel field is for batter then these wars in the maintioned countires, in battle field you know your enemy but in secatian wars, genicide of hazara people, in suicide attacks, where you live your life on uncertain measures, where life is impossible to live, i am sure you are not experianced with all these, but what people are going through around the world we can not even think of, and its easy for you to pass a statment like this.
    Speaking english is importent for you its you native language but not for every single person living anywhere across the world.
    On manus island, best swimmer, best graphic designer, teacher (mathmatics, statistics, physics), trailler drivers, highly educated people are kept, who used to live their lives better to a commen person living in australia, you can not blame them but your government and the people who sholud change there minds.
    Manus island

  • Itzrob

    So you admit you are not refugees just migrants trying to come in the wrong way. Go and apply the correct way otherwise return to your home country.

  • concernedcitizen

    Hear hear!

  • Farman Ali

    What I admit, ” what you say is not worthy enough, you are too weak with your thoughts.” Today the world is talking about the situation in Aghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and philistine. United Nation High Commision for Refugees, International Red Cross, Aminisity International presented there reports, better to follow. Senitor Sara Hansan Young, Minister Scott Morison, Atorny Genrals, immigration ministers and so many other personalities has put there reports too. Australia Red Cross has not been allowed to visite us as the maintained organizations did. Your judgment do not make any difference to any body neither you can do anything about the situation.
    Fell sorry for you.
    Farman Ali
    Manus island Papua new guinuea

  • AussieJack

    Can’t help but agree with Freddy and itzrob, yes English is important to us, this is our country, this is a christian, english speaking country, people from other parts of the world cannot expect to come here and not learn OUR language if they expect to prosper. Australia has welcomed migrants from around the world and also taken MORE than it’s fair share of refugees. We have every right to dictate how we will take any migrant in whether they are legal or illegal, which is what these so called asylum seekers are – “illegal immigrants”. When these illegals get here they are given a place to live, food, TV, internet, phones, you name it….for FREE……what is happening in other parts of the world…you just needed to watch Four corners the other night to see that Australia is treating the illegal immigrants far better than the rest of the world. Besides if what you say Farman Ali and I quote “highly educated people are kept, who used to live their lives better to a commen person living in australia” why are they trying to come here illegally? If they are so highly educated and clever why are they not trying HARDER to make a difference in their OWN country. These 3rd world countries will never get out of the mire unless their educated clever people STAY HOME and work harder to make CHANGES so that everyone can live in peace and harmony. Most Australians do not want your lot coming here and then causing problems, which is what is happening now.

  • Flora

    I was a stranger and you took me in……….

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