When “Hope” Loses Hope in “Pleasant Island”

When “Hope” Loses Hope in “Pleasant Island”

 Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:36:41 AM


By: Mansoureh Nasserchian




Sad story of Iranian, Afghan, Iraqi, Somalian and Burmese asylum seekers who are trapped in Nauru Island follows by sad story of Manus Camp !

 Formerly it was called: “Pleasant Island” which has become so unpleasant for many asylum seekers who are trapped in Nauru Island cramped camps. It is a small island which has almost 10,000 inhabitants over 21 square kilometers. This island has just one street and two Hotel and a camp with 1500 asylum seekers whose inhabitants are trapped and cannot go anywhere. It is mostly a prison which has no escape gate.

In this small island, asylum seekers have highest rate of depression as they do not see any certain future for themselves and their family. There are many sad stories which get the least media coverage. Many asylum seekers attempted suicide and many others looking for different way of committing suicide; how to end their future less life in despair.

Nauru Island

Omid means Hope; he was one of many asylum seekers who completely lost hope. He was just 23 years old when setting himself on fire in front of UN delegates while protesting against his harsh condition along with other protestors. UN officials mentioned that they were looking for a “solution” of 10 years of settlement for asylum seekers. That statement was a trigger to Omid’s last hope and turned to a tragic ending.

Delegates were watching Omid without doing anything. There is just one small clinic with the minimum facility and he should have transferred to Australia for his %30 burnt but he did not. As a result of negligence Omid passed away and his wife was transferred along with her husband’s body to Australia. She is being kept in a Hotel room with three guards and Omid’s friends are concerned about his wife’s well being.

This is not a single tragedy. An anonymous asylum seeker has found a way to communicate with our activists and he talks about his observation: We created a website:  http://www.opcvoice.com/ which currently it has being shut down. We had lots of documents and pictures on the website. Our website has been under scrutiny.

We were 5800 asylum seekers when we arrived at Christmas Island but now we are 1500 persons. They picked us randomly and told us that we were not eligible for settlement there and we should go to Nauru Camp. They treated us like criminals and after two days we were transferred to Nauru Camp. My child has not been in school for one year due to lots of problem in the camp. My wife has been tortured physically and mentally. She was in her first trimester of pregnancy when Omid passed away and she had abortion due to high level of stress. We are trapped here.

Nuaru Camp is not the only place of horror and disaster for Iranian asylum seekers. Another Iranian asylum seeker contacted our activists from Manus Camp.  Based on the claim of Immigration Office for our refugee process, we were transferred to Manus Camp in July 2013. It was an abandoned camp with basic fence. Manus Camp is about 20,000 square meters which includes four camps: Oscar, Delta, Mike and Fox. In very first days; 500 of us were settled in each camp. It was very dire situation to begin with.

Papua New Guinea Police and local people started a clash in our camp and it left one casualty. One person lost his eye and another one was shot and still he has not being treated. Several people had fractured bones. After that incident our food quality declined. After 20 days from Reza Barati’s death; we did not let officers to work in our camps. We did everything by ourselves and they switched the company of local officers. After 16 months Hamid Khazaee passed away from a rare infection. The infection was caused by a bacteria called chromobacterium violaceum, which can aggressively attack internal organs after entering the bloodstream, Lateline can reveal. He was 24 years old.

We started a hunger strike. We asked Australian and Local Officers to leave camps and let us to die. It was a trigger to attack us and they started to beat some of us and arrested others. Some were transferred to Papua New Guinea Prison without offering any lawyers to them. After a month they were returned to camps but not in the previous location.

Paupa New Guinea Government recently announced that Australia kept us illegally for the last three years here in this camp but Australia did not want to accept it. We do not know what to do as the clinic does not make any commitments due to shortage of basic facility for our patients. We are 900 asylum seekers here with no future. In every room there are 36 to 40 of us who live together and we have not even basic things here. There is no TV or a fridge in our room or even a small place to go and rest. There are 270 Iranians here.

Nauru Camp and Manus Camp are the farthest parts of the world with hopeless asylum seekers who still looking for help. Be their voice and not let their suicide become just an outdated news.



Author: mansourehn

I am freelancer and I was radio producer for five years. I produced 110 radio shows both in English and Persian at CHSR FM from 2010-2015. I have been writing for the think tank of "Tahlil Rooz" daily analysis of news located at the U.S mostly in Persian. I write satire, poetry and news analysis mostly about Iran.

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