Part of a podcast series

The Messenger

View all episodes in this series

#10 It Runs In My Blood

Listen to #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.


Portrait of Abdul Aziz Muhamat

Abdul Aziz Muhamat

Abdul Aziz Muhamat is a 24-year-old man from Darfur, Sudan. He is from the Zaghawa ethnicity, and with his family, he fled his village to a refugee camp. He arrived in Australia by boat in 2013 and was taken to Manus Island, where he remains.

Portrait of Michael Green

Michael Green

Michael Green is a journalist in Melbourne. He has written about environmental and social issues for the Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Nature, Nautilus, Smith Journal, Right Now and Overland, among others. He is the coordinator of Behind the Wire, and has been working on a book of people’s stories from detention called They Cannot Take the Sky, which will be published in March 2017 by Allen & Unwin. He is also producing an exhibition at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum based on the stories in the book, which will open on 17 March 2017.


All messages as part of this discussion and any opinions, advice, statements, or other information contained in any messages or transmitted by any third party are the responsibility of the author of that message and not the Wheeler Centre.

The Messenger

From Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre, The Messenger brings you into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island – and reveals, in intimate detail, one man's experience of what it's really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat.