Voices from Manus Island: Refugees speak

Today on the steps of Aotea Square, these messages to the people of Aotearoa from Manus Island refugees were read out as part of the campaign to #BringThemHere.

1. Kaleem:
Hi , I’m Kaleem .I’m in an Australia run detention center on manus island in PNG.
I’ve been in the detention center from over four years.
I’m suffering from over four years in this hell and still suffering.
We have Been brought here against our will.
And now Australia has cut our human basic rights, like water, food and electricity for 3 weeks. Australia is starving us.
Many of us get sick because of hygiene problems. We don’t have clean water, we dug well to drink water from .
That also make us so sick.
Many have kidney problems.
We are so thankful to the new Zealand government for showing compassion and humanity to us .
We would love to go to new Zealand and share our love with kiwis and contribute to the beautiful country.
I’m also so thankful to all lovely people of new Zealand who are supporting us and standing with us.

2. Sheikhi:
Hello. My name is Sheikhi. I am an Iranian asylum seeker who arrived in Christmas Island on 2013 /07 /26. Australian immigration department sent me to Manus Island detention center by force. For four years and half, the Australian government has held me and many others on Manus in its torturing center. Now the government has abandoned us and left us all alone between two choices; which are living with no food, water, power, medical services, etc or living in detention and going out to Lorengau detention with no guard and safety. In the past four and a half years, six asylum seekers lost their lives on Manus and The government of Australia and PNG have their blood on their hands. In the past four years the Australia government has tortured us in many different ways. Eg, I got toothache when I was brought to Manus but they did not care about me for three years. I could not sleep, eat and drink easily. I lost about ten teeth by that. When I used to ask for painkillers or a dentist, they used to tell me go back home. I beg them with tears but they said we don’t have any dentist here for you. I bear toothache more than 3 years. Finally I got forced to extract my teeth and they didn’t even register it in my medical records. They could repair my teeth, but they didn’t. Anyway now we appreciate the people and Authorities of New Zealand to step forward to rescue us from the Australian torturing Center. In fact, there is no difference between NAZl’s concentration camps and Manus & Nauru torturing Center.
Since we heard that the NZ PM honourable Jacinda Ardern and New Zealand people are going to help us, we became so happy. We all stretch out our hands and open our hearts for you to help us.
We want people and Authorities of New Zealand to consider us the children of New Zealand. In our eyes you are our heroes.
We all are willing to lay our lives down to be a useful person for the new Zealand society.

3. Sammy:
Hello to the gorgeous people of New Zealand.
I’m feeling so proud sharing my pain and thoughts to the beautiful people
I’m samad(Sammy) from Pakistan and I’ve been detained in illegal detention center for almost 4.5 years.
I might be not wrong if I describe my condition, it’s a global crisis and there is a strong and unkind government wanting to make an horrible example to pass the horrible message to the world.
The day when I found my feet in Manus detention center, my torture has begun, instead of getting better it was getting worse and my hope was killed by the authorities slowly slowly but I didn’t let them. Still to date they are trying and pushing me to the hell, where my life is in danger, where I will be once again detained for years
but I tell to myself I’m human just like them and I have the same rights as they do, I will fight for my rights and freedom .
the current condition is worst than Guantanamo and we have been left without medical, power,food,water and security for almost 3 weeks.
anything can happen anytime.
if I described my pain, it’s like, someone is drowning at Sea and unfortunately he doesn’t know how to swim.
“nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere, where you don’t belong ”
we have declared many many times we didn’t came to PNG and we don’t wanna live here .
I have survived and suffered for years just to convince authorities I deserved a safe and independent environment, where I can build my life, where I can go to attend the university, where I can study Human Rights, where i can become a social worker, where i can become helpful for helpless people, where i can play a cricket, where I can play different games,
I got lots of love and I want to give it the people of the world.
The only country who stand up in our darkness is New Zealand, you guys are so kind, so lovely, so beautiful and one of the greatest nations in the world .
although your government is trying so hard to get us released but some leaders in Australia who actually don’t deserved to be called leaders, they are dictators, are trying to push back your governamnet and don’t want to give us safety.
we(Manus refugees) are begging you , no matters what it takes, please please end our pain, end our tears, end our darkness, end our suffering
we need care not detention
we need help not fences
we need support not torture
we need love not hate
we love you so much New Zealand.

4. Hass:
First of all I’d like to thank all the beautiful human beings out there who are standing up and fighting for our freedom, and what u do is what free nations are supposed to do.
I also want to remind them that injustices anywhere is injustices everywhere. Our tragedy can’t be described and we hope for nothing but our freedom.



5. Rafiullah yousafzai:
Hello dear New Zealand people – the proudest and bravest people..Four years ago we arrived on Christmas Island and then they sent us here for to Manus for processing… We didn’t come here voluntarily. They brought us here by force and put us here in this prison..After they brought us here, from that day onwards we never heard any good news only torture, stress and sad bad news.. They put 50 guys into each tent and those compound’s names are Oscar and Delta – a small room with four people in each room where barely two people should be.. Fox compound and Mike are all the same.. Here our brothers lost their minds – lost soo many things. Sooo many things Australian Immigration have done to us.. I haven’t seen compassion in one person.. Here we lost 6 friends – those who was came here for a peaceful life but they were killed here 😢😢😢😢 Now they have left us here in the darkness For 19 days now the Australian Government has stopped everything – water, food, power, sanitation, medication and medical treatment. They thought when we stop all of this they will all surely die there because they were convinced that we would have no way to get food and no way to get water..but the New Zealand public you have helped us sooo much and through you we got some food and water and supplies through by boat. There was a small generator left in the compound, today when they found that they took that too.. The Australian Government has done too much to us… Now we are in darkness and suffering and under even more stress because of this horrible situation..they destroyed our wells we dug, they emptied all the water we had collected and destroyed all the rain water tanks The people in my country? We would never do this to strangers – those who came to me and trusted me? I would protect them and keep them safe. When i was a kid I was taught to respect humanity and treat everyone well. When we see what people are doing for us with lots and lots of protests – for us it gives so much hope to each one and every one here.. We are sooo proud of the New Zealand activists.. No not activists.. We are all a family now..Soo I have a big request to the New Zealand public. Please do your best . just don’t stop your voices.. Your voice can change the world… Your voice has more power than the Government.. Unity and strength can change everything.

6. Omar Jack:
Hello people of New Zealand. My name is Omar Jack I’m one of those innocent refugees who have been locked up for 4yres and finally abandoned by Australian government on #Manus. Thank you very much for your support and showing compassionate to us we’re all siblings in humanity. Thank you for calling the government to bring us to New Zealand. Keep fighting for us is mean keeping human being alive. We are appreciate your help and we happy to call New Zealand home.


7. Walid
I’m Walid zazai from the Australian run detention centre on manus island in png.
Thanks to all lovely people who today came out for us and standing with us. Much love to all of u from manus ❤.
Dear friends,,
No one leaves their loved ones and loved country and flees for no real and terrible reason. Australia breached their international obligations and took around 2000 of us innocent asylum seekers – we broke no law in going to Australia- They dumped us in manus and Nauru. For 4 years we have sat and rotted and wilted here. Australia has tortured our bodies, our wills, our minds and our faith. They have tried to break us – sometimes they even succeeded but most of us will not let them break us.
But we are breaking.
Since the 31st of October Australia walked away from us even more – they ‘closed the detention centre’ with hundreds of us still inside. They turned off water and sanitation, they stopped giving drinking water and food. They told us to move to another centre – where they want us to sign another form to say we will wait longer still …, we cannot wait. We have lost 4 years- I came here a boy only 19, I am now a man of 24. How many more years do I need to lose because of Australias cruelty? So for 17 days we have not had food and water provided to us, no sanitation and running water. We have had to dig up our water and survive on very very little food supplies. This is hard. We are dying. But we cannot agree to be held longer. We need our freedom.
But New Zealand you offer us hope. You show humanity and care!

You offer us help.

Please I ask you with the small amount of energy I have, please ignore Australia and negotiate with PNG and come and save us- come and give us safety and protection.
Please do what Australia will not do. Settle us in NZ and we will give our strength and our minds and our love to your country. Please help and please help soon.
And if any kiwi want to know about us please msg me on Twitter or on my whatsapp. Im here to listen to you and answer your questions.
Thank you 😍😍

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