Tag Archives: Behrouz Boochani

I stand with Behrouz

A few days ago The Guardian newspaper published links to a shocking cache of documents. They revealed, in detail that is all the more chilling for its use of colour-coded management speak of the most banal variety, the processes by which the administrators of Australia’s camps on Manus island planned to make the lives of inmates even more harsh and punitive. The aim was twofold: to make recognised refugees leave the camp and accept resettlement in Papua New Guinea, and to drive asylum seekers to give up their efforts to claim protection and force them to return to the unsafe conditions of the countries they fled.

Revealed in these plans is a new refinement of what Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites has described previously as the damage by design that Australia’s offshore policies are calculated to inflict on hapless detainees, people overwhelmingly recognised as refugees even under the flawed processes of assessment adopted by the responsible states. The official sanction of such practices, guaranteed to produce fear and trauma, are tantamount to torture and stand in violation of the United Nations Convention Against Torture that Australia has ratified.

The Guardian article lists as co-author of the expose article Behrouz Boochani, journalist, film-maker, writer, and himself a detainee in the Manus camp. Although Mr Boochani’s name has become familiar to many of us through his tireless attempts to shine a light on what transpires on a daily basis in the black site that is Manus camp, none of us can be complacent that his high visibility and extraordinary abilities will guarantee his safety.

The Good Friday 2017 shooting at the Manus camp, which left unarmed refugees and their Australian managers terrified as PNG naval officers threatened to overrun the camp and fired directly into it, is a frightening reminder of the riot in which Reza Barati was bludgeoned to death in 2014. The Minister responsible for Borderforce, Peter Dutton, instead of immediately acting to defend those under threat of serious violence, inflamed the situation by insinuating that the detainees might be guilty of abusing local children. These dangerous insinuations were exposed as baseless by Mr Boochani through his fearless commitment to speaking truth to power.

RAPBS is calling on the hundreds of thousands of Australians who are appalled by our government’s policies, and who are inspired by the courageous work that Mr Boochani and fellow whistle blowers are undertaking on Manus and Nauru, to act now in support of Mr Boochani, who may face retaliation for his role in the latest exposé of damning documents from Manus camp.

Write to your local MP, circulate, share and tweet this call as widely as you can, and make it clear that you hold the Australian Prime Minister and his cabinet personally responsible for the lives it has forcibly placed on Manus and Nauru.

Please explicitly state your support for Mr Boochani, who has been recognised by PEN International, Reporters without Borders and other international and national bodies. Call for Mr Boochani to be afforded the protection and support he needs.

A year ago, when authorities attempted to remove Mr Boochani from Manus Camp, he climbed a tree to express his peaceful resistance. Today we are once again calling on people everywhere to Stand With Behrouz.

Add your name to this campaign below. Tweet your photograph! Stick it on a real wall near you! Make yourself heard!

# I Stand with Behrouz!

Suvendrini Perera and Joseph Pugliese
Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites

I Stand with Behrouz PDF

Women of Kurdistan

I will talk to you of Kurdistan and mountains, of beautiful trees and rare flowers.  I will talk of wild rivers, tall waterfalls and amazing music.  I will talk of my father, the shepherd, who was inseparable from nature.  I will talk of my mother who worked too hard to find something for us to eat and, when there was none, lay our heads on her lap and sung us beautiful stories to make us sleep. I will talk to you of Kurdistan made a battle-field, of a childhood filled with war,  of 50,000 Kurds killed on one day by chemical weapons, of our soil soaked in blood.  I will talk to you of Kurdistan and the women I admire.  The women of Kurdistan who fight, sing and dance.  The women who fight, sing and dance.

-Behrouz Boochani – Manus 2015

The Black Kite

Over Manus Island,
a black kite flies.
A few youths –
still with energy
to bear the difficulties
of this prison camp  –
made it.
The black kite flies,
a messenger of freedom
for us, the forgotten prisoners.
It circles
higher and higher
above the camp,
above the beautiful coconuts.
Our eyes follow its flight,
it seems to want to tear its rope.
It breaks free,
dances towards the ocean,
flies far and again farther
until no one can see it.
The youths stare into the empty sky
after their impossible dream.

-Behrouz Boochani, 2015
Translation by Ali Parsaei and Janet Galbraith

An Obvious and Official Hostage Taking

“To the Australian people,

In the heart of the dark night, I yell out through the mass of metallic and hard fences. Surrounded by agony and torture, I yell out right next to the tropical birds, thousands of kilometres away from the people’s world, in the heart of a remote island located in the corner of the vastest ocean in the world. In the name of humanity and freedom, I yell out…”

An Obvious and Official Hostage Taking

Crying on a remote island

I know a man who did not talk with his small daughter, son and wife for 29 months. His family live on a dry land on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. I talked with him in Manus Prison when they took us during the hunger strike and put us in that dirty jail. He was crying and when I put me hands on his shoulder and asked him why he was crying. He looked at me and said: ‘I am not crying for myself. My heart is heavy for my small daughter and son’.

Read Crying on a remote island by Behrouz Boochani in full.



Behrouz Boochani – PEN International

Behrouz Boochani was featured as a case of concern by PEN International on Human Rights day 2015.  They write:

’10 December 2015
PEN International is deeply concerned by the detention of Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani, who has been held in Australia’s offshore Immigration Detention Centre on Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea for the past two years. He has sought asylum is Australia since July 2013.’

See more at: http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/human-rights-day-take-action-for-kurdish-iranian-journalist-behrouz-boochani/

The Chauka by Behrouz Boochani

Other posts about Behrouz Boochani on the RAPBS site