UNHCR should explain why they don't want Nauru, Manus refugees freed & resettled

In late April, representatives from the UNHCR - lead by Thomas Albrecht - undertook secretive missions on Manus and Nauru.

After being pressed by the media what they were up to, they said their mission was to "monitor" conditions of the camps, and the mental health of the refugees.

During the UNHCR visit to Nauru, refugees were told to expect to remain on the island for "another ten years".

Immediately after they conveyed this message to the refugees, Omid Masoumali covered himself in flammable liquid and set himself alight shouting at the delegation "We're sick and exhausted! You've destroyed our lives! Did you come just to gape at our misery? We lead miserable lives! You've been torturing us for three years!"

After more than 24 hours without adequate medical attention he was airlifted by private contractor to Brisbane, where he died on 29 April 2016 from his burns.

Up until Omid's death, the UNHCR Australia branch deflected any queries about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in South East Asia to the "Bangkok office".

Their only recent publicised activity in the region has been to assist the Australian government in its subversion of the right to seek asylum by "welcoming" its lies about the "release" of refugees on Nauru in October 2015.

Their fundraising and highlighting the plight of refugees and asylum seekers anywhere but in our region - especially those imprisoned in Australia, and on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island - has never been scrutinised.

That the UNHCR are only calling for the "immediate movement" of refugees, rather than urging Australia to immediately close offshore camps and resume meeting its international obligations under the refugee convention, is telling.

Regional representative Thomas Albrecht should explain why the UNHCR does not want the refugees on Nauru and Manus immediately freed and resettled.

Especially given the PNG Supreme Court has ruled the Manus camp illegal, and refugees have written to him explicitly asking for freedom and genuine resettlement after three years of what can only be described as punishment for seeking asylum.


http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2016/s4454004.htm [Arman has never been given a right of reply to the UNHCR's denial of these claims.]







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