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#10 It Runs In My Blood

Photo of Abdul Aziz Muhamat on Manus Island

Aziz — Photo: Michael Green

This place has become part of me. It runs in my blood.’

Abdul Aziz Muhamat

After seven long months in Port Moresby recovering from knee surgery, Aziz finally returns to Manus Island. He’s overjoyed to be home in the detention centre – seeing his friends and sleeping in his old bed.

But just as he returns, the Australian government begins shutting some of the centre’s compounds – trying to force refugees to go home, or accept resettlement in Papua New Guinea. Aziz and the other detainees refuse to leave.

When the compounds begin to close, hundreds of the men have been assessed for resettlement in America – yet hundreds more, like Aziz, haven’t even started the process.

This episode brings The Messenger into realtime. The closure of the Manus Island detention centre is expected to be complete by the end of October 2017.

What will happen to the men who live there?


A transcript of this episode is coming soon.

Further reading

‘Commonwealth agrees to pay Manus Island detainees $70m in class action settlement’ by Emma Younger and Loretta Florance, ABC News, accessed 28 September 2017

In this episode

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat

  • Behrouz Boochani
  • Michael Green

Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes ‘Apt. A (!)’ by cLOUDDEAD, ‘Parallelogram’ by Electric Birds, ‘First Snow, Last Year’ by Andrew Pekler, ‘Map of What is Effortless’ by Telefon Tel Aviv, ‘Mdrmx’ by Brothomstates, ‘Mascoma’ by Trapist, ‘13’ by SND, ‘Reeling Then Again’ by Lori Scacco, ‘Not Growing Out Of Growing Into’ by Rothko, ‘Shine’ by Klara Lewis and ‘Up the Box’ by Andy Stott.

More information

The Messenger is a co-production of Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre. It’s produced by Michael Green, André Dao, Hannah Reich and Bec Fary, with Jon Tjhia and Sophie Black at the Wheeler Centre.

Narration by Michael Green. With reporting by Abdul Aziz Muhamat. Additional fact checking by the Guardian‘s Ben Doherty; transcription by Claire McGregor, Carolyn Turner, Eugenia Zoubtchenko and many more​. This episode was edited and mixed by Bec Fary and Jon Tjhia.

Thank you

Dana Affleck, Angelica Neville and Sienna Merope. Also to Behind the Wire’s many participants and volunteers. Behind the Wire is supported by the Bertha Foundation.

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.