Two young men, both left their home countries aged 3. Both now call the Blue Mountains home and are part of the BMRSG community. But two very different stories. Read part 2 in our series Who Are We?
This joint report by the Refugee Council of Australia in partnership with Amnesty International, tells the story of the men who have been sent by Australia to Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and what has happened to them after they were forcibly removed from the ‘regional processing centre’ on Manus Island one year ago. Executive summary "The system the Australian government has designed for refugees and asylum seekers, has a kind of evil and devastating effect. It can ruin the very inner strength of human spirit. To the outsider, Fariborz [Karami] took his own life [on Nauru in June 2018], but the truth is the system took his life. There is no alternative explanation, and we must hold the Australian government accountable for this action.
A positive warm hearted story of a need identified by one of the BMRSG Community visitors, of a family in a house with no furniture and a new baby still in hospital, a timely offer of furniture and a feat or organisation by a number of BMRSG volunteers. #BMRSGHelps
Behrouz Boochani, the Kurdish Iranian journalist and award winning autho, discussed his recently published memoir No Friend But the Mountain: Writing From Manus Prison at the Wentworth Falls School of Performing Arts last Saturday. Mr. Boochani fled from Iran to seek refuge in Australia but was instead sent to offshore detention on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Mr. Boochani is a vocal advocate for Kurdish people and all refugees and asylum seekers. Mr. Boochani Skyped in from East Lorengu, the refugee accommodation on Manus Island where he currently resides, and received a standing ovation from audience members, before talking about his memoir and his time in detention.
Summary and recommendation The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Migration Act to: 1. allow the Minister to determine that an item is a ‘prohibited thing’ in relation to immigration detention facilities, 2 allow existing screening, search and seizure powers to be used in relation to prohibited things, 3 provide a power to search all areas of immigration detention facilities without a warrant, and 4 enable the use of detector dogs to search facilities and to screen detainees and other persons entering the facilities. This post goes into the details of the Bill, the responses of the main parties and the Government's respond to these comments.
Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen visited Sacred Heart Church Blackheath on Sunday 26 August for Migrant and Refugee Sunday. Bishop Long fled Vietnam on a refugee boat in 1979, following two of his brothers who had already left, and reached Malaysia, where he spent 16 months in a refugee camp where he learned English. He reached in Australia in 1980. In his homily he discussed Pope Francis' invitation to be “Welcoming, Protecting, Promoting and Integrating towards Migrants and Refugees”.
Joy Connor, Deputy Chair BMRSG visited politicians in Canberra with Marie Sellstrom President of Rural Australians for Refugees. First they met with Peter Dutton's main advisor and an advisor then they met with Shayne Neumann, Ged Kearney, Sue Templeman and the Advisor to Kristina Keneally. At these meetings they discussed Immigration Detention, the use of handcuffs on people seeking asylum when they went to medical and counselling appointments, SRSS, resettlement, The Amendments to the Migration Act, the RAR Statement on People Seeking Refuge and Asylum and the Andrew Wilkie Bill.