A very powerful column in The Guardian this afternoon from Richard Flanagan addressing the ongoing evil of Manus Island. It is timely given that PNG Police have forced the remaining asylum seekers and refugees who had remained in the former Australian-run Immigration Processing Centre (a euphemistic term for ‘prison’!) to move to the “better” accommodation provided for them, even though that accommodation is, accordingly to everyone else but the Australian Minister responsible, incomplete and lacking the kind of protection and services that Australia owes to the detainees.
Specifically, Flanagan highlights the efforts of one of the detainees, Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist, for bringing the reality of the situation on Manus Island to the attention of the world. As Flanagan notes:
Behrouz Boochani reminded Australia of what it had become. We should thank him and honour him for his warnings of what was happening to our country. Instead we enabled his imprisonment, and who can say what this marked man’s fate may yet be?
His detainment yesterday highlights the moral bankruptcy of the Pacific solution, its essentially criminal nature, and the growing dangers it presents to our democracy.
The debacle of the Pacific ‘solution’ is plain to see thanks to the efforts of people like Boochani, and I cannot help but think that one day will be thank him for what he has done.
I only hope that it won’t be too late for Boochani to receive that thanks in person.