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Everything That We Have Built
Hundreds of men remain in the decommissioned detention centre – refusing to be relocated to camps which many (including the UN's refugee agency) have said are unfinished or unsafe. Papua New Guinean immigration officers have removed fences, shade and clotheslines from the camp. Rubbish bins storing rain and well water have been tipped out, and makeshift wells destroyed. In this update, comprised of Aziz's weary and infrequent messages, he describes the increasingly strained situation.
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
'They were trying to push people – and swearing, abusing.'
In this update
Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin.
'Horrific footage from within Manus Island Detention Centre shows squalid conditions', by Jennifer Sexton, Daily Telegraph, accessed 10 November 2017
'Smuggled footage shows horrific conditions in Manus detention centre – video', Guardian Australia, accessed 10 November 2017
- 'Photos cast doubt on new Manus housing', Australian, by Rory Callinan, Australian, accessed 8 November 2017
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.
This short update was edited and mixed by Jon Tjhia.
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.
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.
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.
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.