Tasmanian Refugee Rights Action Group

After more than five years of indefinite detention many people held on Nauru and Manus Island have developed serious mental health issues and other health problems.  Tasmania’s Refugee Rights Action Group along with many other groups around the country supports a new approach to ensure that these people can receive the care they require, and is urging politicians to vote for the Medical Transfers Bill this week.

“The welfare of these seriously ill people is Australia’s responsibility” says Carol Bristow  “For too long the Government has denied people the health care they need, resulting in the preventable deaths of several young men on Manus Island and Nauru. Holding people indefinitely, with no hope for the future has caused terrible suffering and despair”

Only yesterday we heard from Behrouz Boochani that “23 detainees from Manus are in the local hospital, two critically ill and unconscious with no medical support.”

Australia can bring an end to this suffering.

Anticipating losing a vote in the House of Reps when Parliament returns this week, the Prime Minister and others have launched an outrageous misinformation and scare campaign.

In addition the Government is also claiming the transfers of these people would be hugely expensive, but fails to mention that Senate Estimates show that offshore arrangements cost more than $5billion (2012-2017), and $2.65billion in 2016-17.  The cost of community detention onshore is tiny fraction of that amount.

The Scaremongering must end; Australia’s International Reputation needs to be restored and after five long years People seeking Asylum need to be treated humanely. (Carol Bristow)