Stop the Deaths

October 9, 2017

Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) is extremely saddened by the recent death of a man on Manus Island.

Scott Cosgriff, co-chair of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee said, “This is the ninth death since offshore processing began in August 2012 and the second on Manus in only the last two months.”

“This tragedy, like those before it, was entirely avoidable,” said Mr Cosgriff. “Australians should all be deeply concerned about the safety and welfare of those women, children and men who Australia has sent to Manus Island and Nauru.

Khanh Hoang, co-chair of ALHR’s Refugee Rights Subcommittee, said, “This man had already been found to be a refugee but was not given the protection that he needed and to which he was legally entitled.”

“As others have recently pointed out, the purported justification for offshore processing and retention was the beneficial aim of saving the lives of refugees arriving by boat. But that aim must be seen as false and no longer applying when Australia then subjects these poor people to such inhumane conditions that they see no escape but through death. The most recent heart-rending images from artist Mr “Eaten Fish” – at – are a clear expression of the life-draining physical and mental horrors to which these innocent people have been subjected by our politicians.”

”ALHR has consistently called upon the government to bring refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to safety, and we do so again, noting the extreme urgency of the situation. ALHR welcomes the news that some refugees have left Nauru and Manus Island for the United States but we remain concerned that those left behind remain in limbo in harmful and in dangerous conditions both physically and mentally,” Mr Hoang said.

Media Contact: Matt Mitchell
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