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 “I want to be free. This trap Australia has set for me has destroyed my life and my health.”

Moz, Iranian musician stranded in Port Moresby

In October 2019, Craig Foster and the Amnesty team traveled to Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, where we met with many of the refugees and people seeking asylum sent to Manus Island more than seven years ago by the Australian Government.

Just a handful remain on Manus Island now. The rest are stranded in Port Moresby, recognised as one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Hundreds more people remain on Nauru.

Nothing prepares you for the damage and trauma these young people have endured.

It’s a human crisis that shocked us to the core, renewing our urgency and resolve to get these men to safety, so they can rebuild their lives

The young men we met in Port Moresby came seeking safety as teenagers, in the prime of their lives. Their youth, hopes and dreams have been stolen. They can't work, go to university, send their kids to school or access healthcare and basic services. 

They are doctors, musicians, marketing executives, social workers and even athletes. 

These men, and hundreds more people on Nauru, are suffering through a lack of proper medical care, living each day in the shadow of trauma inflicted on them in detention.

Fifteen people have not survived Australia's indefinite sentence. Seven have been lost on Nauru, seven on Manus Island and another took his own life when Medevaced to Brisbane. All murdered, dead from insufficient medical care – or suicide. 

These people urgently need our help, and there are options.

Amnesty has worked to get people to Switzerland, to Canada, to support them when resettled in the US. New Zealand has offered to take 150 refugees a year, for the past five years. That alone would be enough to see all those on Nauru and in Papua New Guinea moved to safety.

Call on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to get these men to safety. As we have heard time and again from all we have spoken to: “seven years is too long to suffer. We want our freedom.”