Thursday December 11 2003 15:00pm WST
For Immediate Release
For images and the full text, including font/colour formatting of the message received, see:
Refugee advocates have the impression that the hungerstrike on Nauru by detainees in TOPSIDE Camp - the detention centre, may well, or has already been developed into an extremely urgent situation. A message has been sent by email by the organisers/participants of the hungerstrike - reprinted below - and nine photos have also been emailed, depicting some of the participants who have stitched their lips together.
Both the images and the message have been added to our website, free for use by media outlets, at:
"Detainees on Nauru have been exhausted, living in their torturous environment, being hyjacked by the Australian government, locked up in a third country, with no outlook on their future, effectively having their lives stolen by a government which continually breaches its obligations under the UN Convention, let alone its human rights standards."
"It is highly lkely that this time a number of people will die in this protest - and we wonder whether the government will accept responsibility for this."
For more information call
Jack H Smit - phone: 041 70 90 130
Rural Australians for Refugees
West Haven NSW
[phone number posted]
First of all I would like to say many many thanks to all of you on the behalf of all the Refugees of Nauru Detention Center and secondly I am writing the message of the Afghan refugees for Media, Radio, TV and All the newspapers in Australia. If possible please pass it on to all Humanitarian Organizations in Australia and around the world.
It is the message of the broken hearted Afghan refugees of Nauru Detention Centre that I am passing to you. I hope you all are feeling well and paying attention on what is going on in Nauru ... where people are in deep danger of loosing their lives. The people are saying that we will not break our strike until the last drop of the blood in our body and Even if it costs our lives. I have written the purpose of the Hunger Strike of Nauru Detention Center bellow.
_____________________FREEDOM OR DEATH....!
The Hunger strike has just started in Nauru Detention Centre by Afghan Refugees on the 10th of December 2003. The Hunger Strike started from 9:00am in the morning and it is still going on. Where 4 of the them have sewed their lips and several are sitting quite with no violence. the only slogan of the refugees is Freedom or Death....!
It is a peaceful strike against the policy of the Australian Government and the injustice Behavior of DIMIA on refugees' cases. And to inform all the Humanitarian organizations, countries and especially the people of Australia to perceive the feelings of the refugees and also to know what is going on behind the fences in Nauru.
We are also Human beings and we don't know what our right is. From the day we came to this world we have never seen the good days and we don't know what the joy and Happiness is. When we were in our own country we were persecuted in different ways by atrocious rulers and Governments but now when we are in the Australian Made detention Centers we don't think that we have been treated better than what Taliban and other Cruel Governments did with us.
What is the difference between Taliban Militias and the Government of Australia?
We all Afghan refugees escaped from our home land to seek refuge in Australia but we think there is not any difference between Taliban Militias and the Government of Australia. Taliban was persecuting and killing people without any kind of fear and the Government of Australia is pushing the people back towards Death without thinking of what will happen to them. If the Australian Government and people are thinking that we are all terrorists. I think there is no need to say that because they have tested us all in these two years where none of us has been found guilty of doing any criminal activities except asking for our rights and if they think that it is a crime then yes we are criminals and terrorist and so so....
The message of all the refugees in Nauru is "do not forget us in your happiness". And also we are so sorry if we couldn't say Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all those Austrians who are helping the refugees because we might die....
Eventually we all Afghan Refugees request you to feel the pains of the children like yours, mothers and all other detainees as a human being.
We hope you will not disappoint us. Just Good bye And God Bless You All.
Chaman Shah Nasiri