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The Messenger

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We Are Hoping to Find a Way to Communicate

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As the detainees' isolation intensifies, Aziz tells Michael about the burden of his responsibilities – and his hope of some negotiation to end the stand-off.

Like many of the other men, Aziz has tried to shield his family from knowing about his predicament. But with reports about the centre emerging in international media, he is compelled to lie his brother, who's recognised him in a photo.

'We are just waiting to hear from them.'

Abdul Aziz Muhamat
Photo of men collecting firewood

Barricaded inside the detention centre, men collect firewood — Photo: Manus Alert

In this update

  • Abdul Aziz Muhamat

  • Michael Green

Our theme music was composed by Raya Slavin.

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.

Who?

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.

Discussion

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.

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