Part of a podcast series

The Messenger

View all episodes in this series

#6 A New Plan

Listen to #6 A New Plan

Photo of Abdul Aziz Muhamat

I'm just pretending … as if I'm preparing for a space journey, and the space journey, it takes many years.’


After months of interviews, Aziz finally sits facing an immigration officer and an interpreter, about to find out whether he’s been granted refugee status. But he’s too angry to talk about that. What he'd rather know is why he’s just spent weeks locked in a jail cell in Lorengau, before being abruptly released without charge.

In this episode, Aziz tells Michael about the hunger strike that lead to his imprisonment, and why he continues to pursue big and small acts of resistance – despite the consequences.


Download a transcript of this episode in Adobe PDF format.

In this episode

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat
  • Michael Green

Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes ‘02-15-02’ by Taylor Deupree and Kenneth Kirschner, ‘Ambient Head’ by Atom Heart and Tetsu Inoue, ‘Variation for Oud and Synthesizer 2’ and ‘Rhodes Viola Multiple’ by Keith Fullerton Whitman, ‘Helix’ by Radian, ‘There Are Other Worlds (They Have Not Told You Of)’ by Jan Jelinek Avec The Exposures, ‘Plastic Energy Man’ by Papa M, ‘People are Friends’ by Biosphere, ‘Biokinetics 2’ by Porter Ricks, ‘Pilot’ by Markus Guentner, ‘Twenty’ by Labradford, ‘Miracle to Fill My Life’ by Abe Duque, ‘Changeling’ by DJ Shadow, ‘Summa Afrique (Oren Ambarchi remix)’ by Tape, and ‘We Let the “S” Hang in the Air’ by Brokeback.

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, Tiarne Cook, 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 Hani Abdile, and 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.