Australia must put an end to the cruel policy of indefinite offshore detention


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7 long years have passed since Australia decided that asylum seekers arriving by boat would be deported to indefinite offshore detention.

Since that date 3,127 people have been sent to Nauru or PNG (another 1050 were sent previous to this date). 

Offshore detention has been plagued with human rights abuses from the start. Riots, deaths, the rape and sexual assault of women and abuse of children grabbed the headlines, but still the Government did nothing to end the practice of offshore processing. 

Amnesty International remains one of the few independent organisations to have visited both islands and witnessed first hand the damage offshore processing has caused.

Six years on, there are still more than 800 people imprisoned on Manus and Nauru. Three years on from PNG’s Supreme Court ruling that detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was illegal, they are still detained. How many more tragedies and outrageous injustices must the people on Manus and Nauru endure before they are allowed to reach safety?

The conditions in Manus and Nauru are putting extreme pressure on the mental health of those stuck there

Levels of depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder are soaring. There is limited access to medical facilities and doctors. In recent months more than 100 men have attempted suicide or self-harmed on Manus. The government’s current approach isolates and harms people, rather than helping them.

Make a regular donation today to protect the rights of asylum seekers in offshore detention.

Offshore processing has failed. There must be an urgent plan to resolve the situation. 

Authorities in Australia should do the only humane thing and immediately bring the refugees and people seeking asylum to safety.

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© Scott Langley
Amnesty International activists