Asylum Seekers & Australia

History Repeating itself

By now you may or may not have heard about the tragic turn of events on Manus Island that left one person dead and 77 injured.

We don’t yet know if this new tragic low marks a turning point, if it’s part of Australia’s new status quo, or if it will finally be enough to make our Government rethink our cruel treatment of asylum seekers, the very people who need our help most. The truth is, we still don’t really know happened because our Government won’t tell us.

Reza Berati

What we do know is that a young man lost his life in the most horrific way – while under our care, while detained in your name. His name was Reza Berati, a 23 year old from Iran.

It was in July last year that he made the perilous journey by boat to seek refuge in Australia and instead of finding safety, he endured a nightmare.

Reza is not the first to die because of this policy: there are many others who have already taken their own lives whilst locked in Australian detention centres. But rather than acknowledging our failure to protect them, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison sent an email lauding today as a “significant milestone” in the Government’s “strong resolve on our borders”.

The only “milestone” reached this week was a new low for human rights in Australia. We live in hope that this horrible tragedy will be enough to make Australia rethink our treatment of asylum seekers.

Below is a link to a site where you can register to hold a candlelight vigil – it can be just you taking a moment to reflect on the loss and how it should never have come to pass or a group of friends having dinner and lighting a candle each to mark the moment.  Any loss of life is something to cause sorrow but a loss such as this is a mark of shame for all Australians who have let fear of the unknown and greed (not wanting to share what we have) allow our government to treat people as less than human.

Host a candlelit vigil for asylum seekers this Sunday

4 thoughts on “Asylum Seekers & Australia

  1. This news has not yet reached England but I’ve googled it.. I think the problem is fear. Fear that relaxing immigration measures and allowing more people into the country will go wrong and you will end up like us. Over here, we consistently have more people coming in than leaving and as population density increases, there are problems with having enough housing, maintaining green areas rather than building more houses on them, the size of schools (somehow it was nearly the start of the school year and we didn’t have enough places for everyone that needed to go to school). I think your government is probably scared of this happening if they aren’t as strict, but there needs to be a middle ground and there are many countries trying to find that middle ground. I hope Australia joins the search before another tragedy. RIP Reza


    • I do understand that it is fear driven based on what has happened in other countries. However Australia is huge for example France can fit 3 to 4 times in Qld which is only one state. The problem that I have with the current policy is the detention and treatment here and in centers off the coast of Australia is barely one step up from a concentration camp (honestly not really exaggerating much at all. This is combined with the fact that successive government have continued not provide adequate legislative criteria for assessing asylum seekers and as a result some people are there for up to five or six years without a hearing.(TRUE) We don’t have to take everyone who wishes to be here but ignoring the issue and just waiting for it to fix itself is what has led to this most recent tragedy. It is compounded with the idea that those who come by boat are criminals and those who come through channels with visas are acceptable. This seems reasonable until you take into account the degree of corruption in the countries these people are fleeing – those who have the most to fear are unable to get through normal immigration procedures especially if they are considered dissidents in their own countries and those who can are those with wealth to bribe officials to rubber stamp their paper work and as a rule are not necessarily the shining examples of honesty that our government would argue they are. So we will just have to see where we go from here – unfortunately I don’t think this will change much. 😦

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  2. It appears red tape is the same color all over the world. I’m sure there is a better, more efficient, and especially humane way of processing and taking better care of asylum seekers. After all, weren’t we, Australians and Americans alike, all immigrants at one time? Weren’t our ancestors looking for a safe haven and a better life? But then of course, that opens another can of man’s inhumanity toward man when we consider the treatment of the indigenous in our countries…Keep ranting Jenni! I believe the more of us who do, will eventually be heard. It may be too late for Reza, but we can be the voice for the others. Lighting my candle now………..


    • Thank you – I just have so much trouble understanding why people find it so difficult to treat others and they wish to be treated themselves – it’s not like it’s a difficult concept now is it. As for Australia’s human rights record when it comes to the indigenous that’s a whole other rant all by itself. Hmm not a bad idea now that I think of it – I’ll have to ponder that for a bit.


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