“The refugee crisis isn’t about refugees. It’s about us.”
- Ai Weiwei
- Ben Doherty (Guardian, Australia)
Some don’t even have documented names.
Some have been kept in offshore camps on Australia’s Christmas Island territory in the Indian Ocean; on PNG’s Manus Island and on the Pacific island of Nauru.
Many had already survived the horrors of persecution, torture and war in their own countries before they came here.
Yet they killed themselves in Australia, or in Australian-sponsored prisons.
These people were kept in indefinite detention (in basic no-advantage conditions, often in tents in intense heat).
This is because they have fled persecution by boat, and not come through official channels that can take years.
Limbo and absence of hope kills people: If you’ve been in covid isolation, you may have noticed that after a few days you started to get lethargic and lose motivation. Now imagine, your isolation stretching to weeks, months, years… with no end in sight.
And these graves only represent the people who have died here in Australian detention, there were others who died at home after they were deported – often due to the very persecution they had been fleeing.
All text and images copyright 2010-17 Amy Spurling unless otherwise noted