There is a horror going on in the South Pacific islands of Manus and Nauru. In what would otherwise be a tropical island paradise, thousands of war refugees are held indefinitely in squalor in internment camps.
Already broken from war-ravaged regions of the Middle East, these men, women, children, and families escaped only with their lives, many having witnessed their relatives and neighbors brutalized and slaughtered. After finding their way across the oceans, often in danger of sinking or from those seeking to capitalize on their misfortune, these individuals now find themselves separated and detained at the hands of an Australian government policy that smacks in the face of the Human Rights treaties to which is party.
And this tragedy has been going on IN SECRET at least SINCE 2013!
These islands are remote. Manus has facilities from World War II whose decaying remains are now being used to house the refugees.
Australia’s detention policy is a result of public fears in the country of allowing war refugees into the country. These public fears are fed by people like Peter Dutton, Australia’s “own little Trump,” according to Roger Cohen of The New York Times.
In Peter Dutton, the immigration minister, the country has its own little Trump. Last May he portrayed the asylum seekers as illiterates bent on stealing Australian jobs”…Roger Cohen “Broken Men in Paradise
Irrational fears of jobs loss, disease, violence from these individuals running for their lives is not unique to Australia or its people. It is happening here in the United States and also in Europe. But Australia has taken these fears to the next level. Politicians concerned more about keeping their own power are playing into the fears rather than working to allay them.
Because of Australia’s remote location to the rest of the world, and because they can get away with it under the cover of tiny remote islands of their shores, this country has been getting away with the internment of human beings, a la World War II. The imprisonment and detention of these people is NOT because they have done anything wrong nor pose any danger. Rather it is ONLY BECAUSE OF WHO THEY ARE AND WHERE THEY COME FROM!
One wonders, now with the new Trump Administration coming in, how long it will be before the United States and Western Europe goes the way of Australia?!
Read more here:
- Broken Men in Paradise, Roger Cohen, The New York Times
- May 2016: Peter Dutton Responds to Roger Cohen’s Column About Australia’s Immigration Policy, storify.com