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The Messenger

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I'm Not Really Settled Right Now

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I’m safe and I’m alive.’

Abdul Aziz Muhamat

An eventful week has passed. After PNG immigration officials and police entered the decommissioned detention centre, destroying food, water and belongings, the 421 men remaining there are forced to relocate to the other facilities on Manus Island.

After a brief spell of homelessness, Aziz has found a bed in the East Lorengau transit centre. In a chance meeting with Michael, he explains how he’s adjusting to the new situation – and trying to regain his energy to continue working.

Photo: A mess remains after PNG immigration officials raid and ransack the camp

A mess remains after PNG immigration officials raid and ransack the camp — Photo: Manus Alert

In this update

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat

  • Michael Green

Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin. Music used in this episode includes 'Shine' by Klara Lewis. Additional audio recordings have been sourced from smartphone videos of the eviction and relocation.

Further reading

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.

This short update was edited and mixed by 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.