Sail4Justice Chapter 10
Back in Port Moresby, we delivered First Nation Passports to West Papuan Refugees in PNG
In the 1960s, as Indonesia prepared a military takeover of so-called Dutch New Guinea, West Papuan rebels fled to Papua New Guinea. Seeking asylum from Indonesian persecution, they were sent to Manus Island by the Australian administrators. Some of these forgotten refugees, and their descendants, still live at the original camp. They have only recently received PNG citizenship.
Izzy talks with some of the asylum seekers who refused transfer to Port Moresby, electing instead to remain on Manus Island. These men have been held in indefinite detention for over 6 years, and no longer feel alive - "We are tired of this living, we are breathing, actually we are not living, we are breathing".
Pacific Islands, including those in the Manus Province, are already some of the hardest hit by climate change. Traditions and customs are being lost to rising sea levels; those on the climate frontlines are being forced to relocate, their homes now underwater. Climate Justice Now!
In the wake of new PNG PM Marape's visit to Australia, when he and PM Morriscum declared that "no one is in detention", Izzy went to Manus Island and spoke with local, Jerry Polei, whose father was opening his land to West Papuan refugees 50 years ago.
We met with West Papuan refugees living in Port Moresby, some of whom at Rainbow Camp are facing eviction. They have been here since the 80s and are still being moved on and living in poverty with no access to health care or education. The current uprising and military crackdown in West Papua could trigger a next wave of West Papuan refugees into Papua New Guinea. Australia needs to take a hard look at its involvement in the ongoing genocide in West Papua and extend a hand to help the West...
Original Nations Passports destined for PNG traveled from Narrm, up the east coast of so-called Australia, and were signed by Aboriginal Elders on the way, including Uncle Kevin Buzzacott and Uncle Lyle Davis. Some of these passports were presented to asylum seekers in Port Moresby. Original Nations Passports have been accepted as travel documents before, and a couple of the asylum seekers talked with Izzy about what could happen next.
In this video diary, Izzy reflects on some of the psychological ramifications on asylum seekers of Australia's torture regime in PNG. Also - on 19th July, "6 years too long", Kaaveh protests at the Australian High Commission. Next up - a longer piece digging deeper into the experiences of West Papuan refugees in Port Moresby.
On day 2 in Port Moresby, Izzy delivered some gifts to asylum seekers and talked with Kaaveh, an asylum seeker from Iran. Kaaveh is one of a group of men who have refused to participate in the process to claim asylum, as they were illegally trafficked to Papua New Guinea, and thus are identified as "negatives" by the australian government. Kaaveh was moved from Manus to Hodava Hotel in Port Moresby and has since been taken to Bomana prison, referred to in this video. The australian government...
Due to both internet quality and risk of deportation, we were unable to share our land crew’s time on PNG with you in real-time. They spent a number of weeks both in Port Moresby and on Manus Island, connecting with refugees, traditional owners, customary land owners, and local Church leaders. Now that they're back (safe and sound, unlike the men still indefinitely held hostage in PNG), we’ll be releasing regular footage - including interviews with refugees. Stay tuned - and donate here to...