Aziz, Manus Island detention centre

This story was commissioned by the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin as part of an anthology for the “State of Refugees” project.

It’s a Thursday night and the boat drivers are rolling drunk.

“Fuck you, motherfucker,” Johnny slurs. “I’m a fucking boxer.”

His Pidgin English and drunken slurring make him almost incomprehensible. He is a small man lacking the physique of a boxer, but this doesn’t stop him shadow-boxing under Ezatullah’s nose. It’s been nine days since the Australian and Papua New Guinea [PNG] governments closed the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre [MIRPC] and ceased all services in the centre, shutting off water and electricity, stopping service of food, and withdrawing all staff. Since the closure, the refugees and the governments have been locked in a tense stand-off. The Australian and PNG governments are demanding the refugees move to new accommodation. The refugees refuse to leave.

Johnny drags an arm around me and breathes the eye-watering stench of home-brew into my face.

“I’m a fucking criminal. I’m a drug dealer. But someone has to get these refugees food. Now where is your money?”

In these strange circumstances, we must turn to the most unlikely of heroes.

The sound of cackling, drunk Manusians echoes around the deserted port. Ezatullah is a large, muscular man from Pakistan, a talented kick-boxer he tells me, but he is nervous.

“When they are drunk, these people are crazy,” he says.

“You haven’t paid us for our last trip,” a skinny Manusian called Oscar slurs, pointing a finger in Ezatullah’s face. “I will fucking kill you.”

Ezatullah slaps a wad of notes in Oscar’s hand and Oscar’s menacing demeanour softens. He hugs Ezatullah and swigs his beer. They are best friends again.

“These are our friends and listen to how they treat us. Imagine if we were enemies,” Ezatullah whispers to me.

We load grocery bags into a narrow fishing boat and hop in, creeping slowly into the night. We stop. In their drunken stupor, the boatmen have forgotten the fuel. Oscar tries to stand up and falls on his bottom, too drunk to keep his balance. This stealth mission is quickly turning into a farce. Twenty minutes later, the fuel is purchased but we still aren’t ready, Oscar has to buy more cigarettes and alcohol.

We finally set forth carving a lime green phosphorescent wake. My bum vibrates to the hum drum of the engine which rattles my wooden seat. The cool wind dries the sweat on my brow. The days are hot and humid in Manus, just two degrees south of the equator. We aim for a glow on the horizon caused by light emanating from Manus Island’s naval base.

The detention centre on Manus Island is the ugliest face of Australian immigration policy. The island prison is one part of a deterrence policy intended to discourage asylum seekers taking boats from Indonesia into Australian waters, risking their lives and engaging people smugglers in their desperate attempts to reach a safe and prosperous nation. Australia reasoned the best way to prevent boat arrivals was to punish people with indefinite detention. Lock them up in offshore prisons and throw away the key. No time limits, no future, no hope. Force them to return home “voluntarily”.

The MIRPC is inside the naval base, making our expedition that much riskier. To enter the centre, we must avoid detection by on-water navy patrols and ground patrols around the centre’s perimeter.

I have no idea what will happen to me if we are caught: arrest, perhaps deportation, maybe violence. Either way, I am sure the consequences for Ezatullah will be worse.

“We may be lucky. They may all be as drunk as Johnny,” I say to Ezatullah.

“That could make them more dangerous,” Ezatullah says.

Ahead of us lightning crackles. We are riding into the eye of a storm and I have no confidence this crew of fools will be able to deliver us safely in and out of the camp.

“Pay them their fee after you come back from the camp. They are friends for money, but without that they would throw you over the side of the boat,” Ezatullah whispers.

The closer we get to the glowing lights of the naval base, the more paranoid I get. The engine is too loud, we are speaking too much, every light is a navy patrol. I am certain we will be caught. Ezatullah spots two flashing lights on shore. The men in the camp are signalling us where to land.

“Just like the people smugglers from Indonesia,” Ezatullah laughs.

Johnny is too drunk to see the lights, but Ezatullah manages to convince him of their appearance. Johnny kills the engine. Stealth is the key.

“Everyone shut the fuck up,” Johnny shouts into the night sky. “We will use poles.”

And that is how we approach the beach with our delivery of food for 600 starving men. Behind us a full, orange moon peeks over the ocean horizon, like a brilliant, subdued sunrise.

Ezatullah grabs my arm and stares urgently, intensely, into my eyes.

“We will never give up,” he says.

Over his shoulder I see Johnny urinating off the side of the boat.

* * *

Our small aircraft flies over shimmering water and lands on a palm-fringed island. At the terminal, Chinese nationals spit, smoke and blow snot out their noses. Friendly-faced locals with curly afros share a smile.

“Welcome to Manus,” the bus driver shouts to a silent bus and laughs.

We drive through heat and humidity, white sand beaches on one side, a dense wall of forest on the other. Ramshackle houses built on stilts with palm leaf roofs hide amongst giant palms and ferns. Jungle crawls into the ocean, trees drink from the shallows. Sand colours the bitumen. Locals fish from wooden canoes, avoiding what is either a lurking crocodile or a log.

Onwards we go to Lorengau, the main town on the island, past machete-wielding men cutting back the encroaching forest from the road, past the Seventh Day Adventist churches and barbed-wire fenced Catholic primary schools, and Australian Aid signs proudly advertising the island’s reliance on Australian charity.

* * *

Out of the jungle, on the shoreline, shadows emerge and converge on the boat. Back-slapping, hand-shakes, white teeth smiles in the gloom. I walk through the gates of an open prison. The inmates have taken over, but this is no triumph. It’s only been nine days since the closure but the centre is already being consumed by rot and decay. The toilets overflow with urine and faeces; litter collects in corridors; graffiti riddles the walls; tired bodies lie awkwardly on mats on the floor or on tables. Some people sleep outside for cool air, others stay inside to avoid malaria-carrying mosquitoes. My vision of the camp is through a white torch light, focusing my eyes on a crumpled figure on the floor, curled underneath a mosquito net.

A tall, muscular, Sudanese man approaches and introduces himself. He has a young face but it shows years of fatigue.

“Follow me,” Aziz says and disappears into his detention centre kingdom.

* * *

I am met outside my hotel in the main square of Lorengau by a local woman named Jill. People mill about on the street in mismatched clothing, chewing betelnut, conversing, selling produce. There is a long line on pay day at the one functioning ATM in town. Information sheets on diabetes are plastered to the bank wall. I’m advised to avoid the port, just a street from my hotel, because drunks might rob me at knife-point. I’m advised to travel around the island in the company of a local to be safe. Jill and I walk along betelnut-stained roads, passing red smiles. A woman squirts a red stream of saliva out the side of her mouth.

A melted, crumpled building sags over the footpath on the main road. This was a supermarket owned by Chinese migrants before it burned down with ten people inside, including women and children. The rumour in town is the fire was started deliberately by “out-of-towners” to cover up murder.

Jill and I walk through the town market which has a brand new roof, one of the few infrastructure projects provided to the island by the Australian government as repayment for housing Australia’s unwanted boat people. Women with tribal tattoos on their foreheads sit on plastic mats selling fresh produce: eggplants, bananas, beans, stone fruit, cabbages, bok choy, coconuts, dirt-covered potatoes, sago palm. Jill picks up a small green nut.

“Green gold,” she says.

Jill worked in the MIRPC for five years. The Project as she calls it, (identified as The because there have been so few projects on the island) brought jobs and some financial prosperity to Manus.

“There are no jobs in Manus. Usually finding employment in Manus is about who you know. We call it the wan-tok [one talk] system. You only need to talk to one person to get the job. But the Australian organisations weren’t affected by nepotism,” she said.

According to Jill, the prosperity The Project brought meant the island became a centre for the betelnut trade, the green gold. The new wealth attracted people from other islands for trade. Suddenly they had street vendors and the market was full of strangers. Wealth disparity on the island increased, bringing crime, theft and conflict.

“Even we feel scared walking at night. It didn’t used to be like that,” Jill says.

If the stand-off at MIRPC hinges on refugees’ fears for their safety; there are clearly dangers in the community.

At the two other supermarkets on the island, many shelves are empty. Since the Chinese-owned supermarket burnt down, the demand for food has stripped the cupboards bare. On this island it is easier to get soft drinks than bottled water. Most food sold on Manus is imported by boat from other islands or by plane from the mainland. A delayed shipment to the island means there is a fuel shortage. The electricity is cut off during the day to save energy.

“Life is hard in Manus,” Jill says. “But these refugees are given everything. Food, housing, cigarettes, an allowance. What do we get?”

I learn that many locals feel the same way. In their corrugated iron housing is it any wonder they are resentful of the million dollar facilities housing the asylum seekers?

From Jill and her friends’ perspective, the problems started when the refugees were forced to live in the community.

“This was not the Manus people’s decision. The refugees want to go to Australia. They don’t want to stay in Manus. This causes problems for everyone here. We don’t want them here if they are unhappy. Those men have been here for four years and they need to be resettled somewhere else.”

* * *

Aziz and I walk through the camp using the narrow walkways between the imposing security fences. Previously the men only travelled these routes accompanied by guards. The crunch, crunch, crunch of white coral follows us wherever we walk. Aziz assumes the role of guide in a morbid, moonlight tour. We stand in an open space of grass Aziz calls Charlie Compound.

“This is the isolation area,” Aziz says. “They put white tarpaulins over the fence to cover the view. You couldn’t see anyone from outside and no-one from outside could see you. If you misbehaved they would send you to Chauka for seventy-two hours and then they brought you to Charlie for two weeks. If you behaved well during your isolation they’d return you to normal detention. If you didn’t behave you would stay longer.”

“What is Chauka?” I ask.

“Chauka was Australia’s Guantanamo prison. I was put in there three times. I slept in a shipping container. There was no air-conditioning, no breezeway, no door, no toilet door, no shower curtain, so the guards could watch you at all times. The bed was made out of wood. One time, they handcuffed me for seventy-two hours.”

* * *

The Mobile Squad is in town, a special branch of the PNG police who restore “law and order” through tyranny. They are stationed wherever they’re needed and wherever they go they leave nasty rumours behind. One rumour says they beat a boy to death for mocking them. Another says they poured boiling water in a man’s mouth to make him talk. They have been sent to Manus to support the local police with the impending closure of the camp. Bald-headed brutes with hulking walks, dressed in blue camouflage with heavy black leather shoes, perfect for kicking a head in.

“There are thirty of them in a squad but it only takes five officers to scare the entire island,” Jill says.

* * *

In April 2016, the PNG Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus to be unconstitutional. Eighteen months later, Malcolm Turnbull’s conservative government closed the MIRPC even though the government had already satisfied the terms of the court’s ruling by opening the gates at the centre. Regardless, the Australian and PNG governments are determined to relocate the MIRPC detainees to three new centres on the island: Hillside Haus, East Lorengau Transit Centre (ELTC) and West Lorengau Haus.

Hillside Haus accommodates those men given negative refugee assessments. The site is a construction zone: rows and rows of shipping containers, stacked two high, alongside stacks of dirt and gravel. Hassan left the MIRPC once the camp was closed and has been in Hillside Haus for five days. He is not allowed to leave the centre. The gates are locked and manned by security. The centre is surrounded by jungle and a small fence. It is situated in the notoriously dangerous Ward 1 and Hassan is worried that locals could enter at any time and hurt them. According to Hassan, there are only 20 people living in the facility which can accommodate 170 people. Everyone else is avoiding the site. Next door to Hillside Haus is West Lorengau Haus, another construction zone which was ruled incomplete and unsafe by Nat Jit Lam, a representative of the UNHCR.

ELTC was built three years ago and houses men processed and accepted as refugees. Gulam is a short man from Bangladesh in his forties with chipmunk cheeks and a combover. He says his hair started to go grey when he arrived in Manus, a stress-related fade. He moved to ELTC from the MIRPC in July 2015.

“They told me I would have more freedom, more opportunity, more money there. But it was all lies.”

Gulam lives with three other men in a cramped room that barely fits two bunk beds. There is no air conditioning so it is too hot to stay inside the room during the day. At the front entrance to the centre there is a boom gate manned by security guards. An easily scaleable fence surrounds the perimeter. The refugees are not allowed visitors. It’s another detention centre, another prison, just a different face.

Every refugee I meet in the community in Manus has a story of violence at the hands of locals. I meet a frail, old Bangladeshi man on his way to hospital. He was attacked in the street at ten in the morning, hit with a machete that fractured his arm and sliced his skin so meat popped out like a poorly cooked sausage on a barbecue.

“On the road to market, we pass through the jungle and people hide there like tigers and attack us. They threaten us with machetes and demand money, cigarettes and our mobile phones. I have been attacked and robbed four times. They think we are rich,” Gulam says.

But the refugees appear rich only in comparison to the poverty of the local community. In reality their smart phones are paid off week by week. Those refugees in ELTC receive 100 Kina allowance per week and a small amount of food.

“With that money I must buy medication, phone credit and groceries. And cigarettes. Before Manus I didn’t smoke. I became addicted to the free cigarettes in the camp,” Gulam says. “When we lived in the detention centre we were given free cigarettes which the locals expected us to share. But they don’t realise that the people living in East Lorengau don’t get free cigarettes any more.”

Most of the physical dangers for refugees living in the community appear to be a product of wealth inequality. Impoverished local men, drunk or high, picking on refugees as easy targets.

Only a few refugees have jobs in the community. Gulam sells packaged lunches at the market in town for income, but he thinks it’s too dangerous to leave the centre to continue his work. Gulam doesn’t feel like he belongs in Manus, he feels like an unwanted outsider.

“The locals call us illegal immigrants. They tell us to go back to our own countries. We tell them that your government brought us here,” Gulam says.

Without work, without purpose, without family, life becomes unbearable and some men resort to alcohol and marijuana to dull the pain and battle the boredom. In town I see an intoxicated Iranian man stumbling across the road shouting belligerently at passersby. Behaviour like this makes many locals believe the refugees bring the violence upon themselves.

In the MIRPC, one of security’s jobs was to keep people alive, to cut people down when they tried to hang themselves. The danger of these new centres is that there isn’t enough security to prevent the men from killing themselves. There have been two suicides in the community in the past three months.

“We are tired, we are tired of Manus. All we want is freedom,” Gulam says.

* * *

In Oscar compound, the men dug a well to store water. They use this dirty well water for the toilets. They also engineered a makeshift pipe and white tarpaulin slide to direct rainwater into a tanker. They boil that water for drinking. Not far from here, healthy hydration posters remain stapled to the camp notice board. The men have been pulling apart the detention centre, using timber as firewood to cook their food on earth stoves. They shower with rainwater from an angled tarpaulin off the edge of a roof.

“Nature is always with us,” Aziz says.

In the distance we hear stray dogs barking and the sounds of the ocean lapping at the shore.

“This is where the Good Friday shooting took place,” Aziz says.

In April 2017, an armed, drunk mob of local men, including members of the PNG defence force, broke into the camp, firing bullets in the air and attacking the detainees. Evidence from the local police said the confrontation escalated from a fight over who was allowed to use the soccer field near the centre. I want to talk about this frightening attack, but there are more stories to tell and very little time to tell them.

We walk inside the dusty mess hall where food was served to the detained men from behind a clear perspex window. Holes in the glass allowed the refugees to communicate with the kitchen staff. Their food was served through a chute.

“We thought we’d be here for a couple of weeks or months. We never thought we’d be here for four years,” Aziz says.

The Delta compound is a small area, no bigger than a football field, which used to house over 200 men.

“If one person caught a disease, everyone would get sick.”

There are attempts to beautify the narrow corridors of shipping container bedrooms: love hearts painted on doors, colourful landscape murals, and little gardens. On one wall someone has graffitied a symbol for anarchy, the letter A inside a blood red circle.

“It is by someone who is ready to die,” Aziz says.

* * *

Trust between the refugees and the locals has broken down. They are suspicious of each other, they are critical of each other. Or perhaps the trust was never established. There were no education programs, no attempts by the governments to help the locals and refugees understand each other. When the refugees first arrived in Manus they thought the locals were cannibals. Despite this tension, there are some friendships and relationships between locals and refugees.

Umsal is a handsome man with Bollywood actor features. He is from the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, a vast jungle of tigers, snakes and elephants. He left the MIRPC when services ceased and conditions deteriorated. But he avoided the transit centres and stayed with a local woman, Fanny, with whom he is in a relationship.

“I do not enjoy Manus. Life is a struggle. It is a struggle for everyone,” Umsal says.

“That’s why we found each other,” Fanny said. “We were both struggling.”

“We are not free. I’m worried about attacks all the time,” Umsal says.

Fanny accompanies him everywhere. She thinks it’s too dangerous for him to go anywhere alone.

Fanny’s family support them and their relationship, but they are worried about him leaving. Umsal was given a negative refugee assessment and his residency status is now uncertain. As far as they know, he could be deported at any moment. Locals are concerned about relationships between local women and refugees whose future on the island is uncertain, of pregnancies with a high likelihood of abandonment. What will happen to the children of these refugees when their fathers are relocated to another country?

“I tell him not to worry about the future. He should live for today,” Fanny says. “But he gets very worried.”

“My life is over,” Usmal mutters.

* * *

In Foxtrot compound, we enter P block, a WW2-era Quonset hut. It is empty except for a bed, a desk, a sleeping refugee, and a stray dog. Don’t Give Up is written in thick text on the back wall.

“This room used to house over 100 people,” Aziz says. “I slept here for six months. There was no air-conditioning, no air movement, no natural light. Each four bunk beds shared one fan. This is where Hamid Kehazaei died.”

Hamid Kehazaei’s death began with a sore on his leg in P block. Then there was infection, sepsis, cardiorespiratory arrest, and finally a lack of oxygen to his brain caused his death. But what really killed Hamid Kehazaei was bureaucratic mismanagement of a health emergency in detention. When Hamid needed to be urgently transferred to Australia because facilities on Manus were inadequate, Australian immigration officials refused to give permission for his transfer for a further 36 hours. He died en route to hospital.

The dog barks at my intrusion and we leave.

* * *

The only hospital in Manus is a small collection of aqua-painted buildings in Lorengau. A person with a serious health issue will be sent to Port Moresby or overseas. There are no mental health facilities in Manus, a bitter irony considering for the last five years Australia has operated a factory for mental illness. The best medical facilities on the island were inside the MIRPC, but those facilities were closed and the resources taken with them.

There are currently over 100 sick refugees and asylum seekers housed in the Granville Motel in Port Moresby awaiting medical treatment.

“It’s like a jail,” Ben, one of the sick refugees in Port Moresby, tells me. “There are only refugees in the entire motel. There are security guards in front of our rooms and they open and close the door for us. We are not allowed to keep our room keys. We have no privacy. Some of the men are in a critical condition, some are not. Most, like me, have not received any medical treatment. The motel is located in a dangerous area of Port Moresby, so we are afraid to leave.”

* * *

In Mike compound, we navigate a maze of stacked demountables and end up standing in an open space, encircled by two-storey accommodation blocks, illuminated by moonlight, as if we are on stage in a strange theatre.

“This is where Reza Berati was murdered in February 2014,” Aziz says.

In response to refugees rioting inside the MIRPC, PNG police and the Mobile Squad entered the centre and attacked the refugees, injuring more than 70 asylum seekers including one man who was shot and another who had his throat cut.

“The locals entered the camp from just over there and attacked us,” Aziz says, pointing to a nearby fence.

We walk up one of the stairwells, Aziz continuing his morbid tour. In years to come this may be the job of a tour guide, like those in the Killing Fields of Cambodia or Auschwitz.

“Six or seven guys were thrown off this balcony by locals. The locals grabbed the men by their arms and legs and asked them, ‘Do you know how to fly?’ Then they threw them over the edge like garbage.”

We are two storeys up.

At the top of the stairs Aziz stops and says, “Reza Berati was killed right here.”

Reza was repeatedly hit over the head by a local security guard wielding a large wooden, nailed stick. While Reza lay on the ground, a group of ten to fifteen local and Australian guards kicked him in the head and stomach with their boots. One of the local guards lifted a big rock above his head and threw it down hard on top of Reza’s head. Reza did not survive his injuries.

How painful and traumatic it must be to live in the place where your friend was murdered, to relive these haunting scenes every day, with no chance of escape.

“It’s one of the worst memories we have with us and we can’t take that memory away from us,” Aziz says.

Earlier that day letters were issued to the men in the camp stating they had two days to evacuate the centre after which “force may be used to relocate those who refuse to move voluntarily”. Then the PNG police and navy arrived to cut down the fences.

“When I first arrived in Manus, the centre had small fences. After Reza Berati died, there was an investigation which found the security procedures were not up to standard. So they built these security fences. They deliberately removed this section of the fence first to remind us of what happened to Reza. They want to scare us.”

* * *

Not everyone benefitted from the employment and prosperity the Project brought to the island, and not everybody was willing or able to work at the MIRPC. Some locals have staged protests against the centre, brandishing signs that read “Manus Alliance Against Human Rights Abuse” and “Australia Don’t Abandon Your Responsibility”. Some of these human rights activists, such as Ben Wamoi, fled the island after receiving threats from the police.

The MIRPC is a poisoned chalice, bringing societal discord and a negative international reputation that the people of Manus are keen to shed.

“The media has portrayed us as bad people but Melanesian culture is friendly, family-orientated. We like to smile, enjoy, be happy,” Jill says.

The international media’s portrayal of Manus has led to a deep distrust in journalists and foreigners that has created a police state-like fear of association. Jill does not want anyone in the community to know she is helping me write this article because she is worried she will be reported to the authorities.

The closure of the MIRPC has left most of the local detention centre staff without jobs. Many of the unemployed hit the streets on a Friday night, spending their severance pay on alcohol and betelnut, perpetuating the cycle of poverty and violence. Jill is hoping for employment with the new resettlement program but nobody knows when this stand-off will end.

I meet the Lorengau mayor, Ruth Mandrakamo, by chance in a car to the airport.

“The Australian government sealed the main road, assisted with some schools, refurbished the police station, and upgraded facilities at the naval base,” she says. “I am envious of the aid they have given us over the years but it means we feel obliged to help Australia. The decision to establish the detention centres was top down, straight from the prime minister. There was no community consultation.”

* * *

The leaders of the resistance have been galvanized by their struggle. They are almost manic in their activity, talking to media from all over the world, arranging shopping lists, writing articles, posting content on social media, making sure the rest of the refugees are okay. I imagine it’s all they can do to avoid going crazy.

“The shopping list is a big responsibility,” Aziz says. “I have to make sure everyone sleeps with a full belly. We buy medication, cigarettes, whatever we can provide people. We bulk order, so there are only a few things you can purchase this way. Rice, noodles, sardines, tuna, sugar, those are the small things we can get and share with everyone. You can’t make everyone happy, but in this situation people will eat whatever is in front of them.”

We sit in front of the dispensary, our conversation illuminated by a weak candle. A few men sit or lie on mats in the shadows, listening, but not contributing.

“We used to queue here every night for our sleeping pills. Hundreds of men every night waiting for a sedative to numb the pain.”

This was complete dependence, complete detention.

“We have been peacefully protesting for over 100 days. We are determined not to commit any acts of violence, no matter how violent the authorities become, because we are powerless and they have the power to bury someone alive, as much as they have the power to cut the basic needs of innocent people,” Aziz says.

“What are you hoping for?” I ask him.

“We want to show the international community the human rights violation in Manus. We have been abandoned by the Australian government in a country that does not have the capacity and ability to help their own people. Why should PNG assume the responsibility to help us? Australia built this place on purpose and they are using us as tools for their own political interest. We are not doing this because we want to go to Australia. The problem is Australia is not letting us go anywhere else. The door has been blocked. We are not hoping for anything. All we can do is stand our ground and maybe someone will help us.”

The Australian Government’s stance on resettlement remains consistent: anyone attempting to enter Australia by boat will never be settled in the country. In November 2016, the Australian government negotiated a deal in which the United States agreed to resettle up to 1,250 refugees from the two offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru. But this amounts to just over half the total number of refugees on the two islands and with Trump now president, the future of the deal remains uncertain. New Zealand has offered to resettle 150 refugees, but the Australian government rejected the offer because “settlement in a country like New Zealand would be used by people smugglers as a marketing opportunity”.

All the men can do is wait. Every day more men leave the camp, whether that be for medical reasons or fear of violence, but a core group appear determined to stay and resist.

“There is solidarity here. They try to divide us, but this has become our last stand.”

A man steps into the light interrupting our conversation.

“The boat is waiting for you,” he says.

* * *

Two weeks after my visit to the centre, PNG police, members of the mobile squad and immigration staff forcibly removed the remaining men from the centre and relocated them to the transit centres. They used metal poles to beat resisters and arrested over 30 men including Behrouz Boochani, an Iranian journalist and refugee who had been reporting to the Australian press from within the centre. Their resistance was suppressed, the media attention dissipated, the world stopped watching. No one knows what will happen to these men, but I can only see tragedy ahead. The only viable solution is for third-country settlement but who will help them?

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