RAC has prepared the following proforma letter for you to use to send to you local MPs and Senators. With the situation on Manus growing more critical by the day, it is crucial to keep the pressure our MPs to speak out on this issue and call to bring them here.
I am contacting you today with regard to the terrible situation facing the refugees
and asylum seekers held on Manus Island and Nauru and to urge you to please speak
up to support bringing these people to Australia as this is the only realistic and
compassionate solution to this crisis.
As you would be aware, the Manus Island detention centre is to close by the end of
October with power and water already cut off in Foxtrot Compound. The possibility
that there will be attempts to forcibly remove the men from the detention centre may
result in a similar catastrophic situation that resulted in the death of Reza Berati in
2014 when the refugees were attacked in the centre.
The more than 700 men at the centre are under intense pressure to move to a transit
centre, which has been designed to accommodate 280 people, close to the town of
Lorengau. The transit centre lacks any suitable medical care and the men hold
terrible fears for their safety due to the hostility towards them by many in the local
community. There are increasingly frequent and violent assaults and robberies on the
refugees in Lorengau. The threats to their personal safety are very real.
Resettling these people in PNG is not a viable option. High unemployment along with
the lack of family and clan ties will deprive these men with the possibility of
rebuilding their lives and will likely leave them in poverty. It is also equally clear that
the deal to resettle these people in the United States will not lead to a resolution of
this situation for most, if not all, of the refugees now trapped in PNG or Nauru.
This is a crisis that risks getting much worse. This week a number of your
parliamentary colleagues have spoken publicly in support of bringing the refugees
and asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru to Australia. I urge you to add your voice to
those of Russell Broadbent, Cathy McGowan and Lisa Singh and the many thousands
of your constituents and echo their call for the people on Manus and Nauru to be
brought to Australia.
These people, who simply sought Australia’s protection, are our brothers and our
sisters, our mothers and our fathers, our sons and our daughters. They are us. They
have been detained for more than four years. The Australian parliament must act to
end this terrible situation and bring them here now.
I beg you to speak publicly in support of this course of action and to use your
influence in your party room, and with colleagues across the parliament to get this
cruel and inhumane policy changed. Your leadership on this will be overwhelmingly
welcomed in the community.
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