Manus Island Appeal - Inside Australia’s Illegal Offshore Detention Centres

12 February 2018, 11:27 UTC |


The piercing pain in Joinul’s right arm keeps him from sleeping. He can’t bend it to eat properly (to eat with one’s left is considered unclean), and there are precious few painkillers to allow him to rest.

Joinul, a 42-year-old man, fled problems in Bangladesh in search of a better life for his wife and two young children. He has now spent five long years illegally detained on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea (PNG), and recalls the horrifying attack where his elbow was sliced open:

“Three months ago, I came to Lorengau and I was attacked by local people who demanded my mobile and money. I refused to hand it over. They cut my elbow and I fell to the ground. They took my mobile and money. Lorengau Hospital told me that my injury was serious and sent me to Lombrum, and they sent me to Port Moresby where I was finally treated. After surgery I now have a rod and screw in my arm. I have not been able to move my arm for three months.”

After the PNG Supreme Court declared the indefinite detention of refugees and asylum seekers unlawful, the Australian Government devised a plan to close down Lombrum centre on Manus Island where Joinul has been detained. 

Government officials withdrew security guards, shut off water, food and medical supplies and electricity. For around three weeks, nearly 600 men remained inside the centre, refusing to voluntarily move from one prison-like setting to another prison, fearful they would be attacked in the community.

Many refugees also spoke of their fears of an attack from the authorities, as had happened in April 2017 when Navy officers recklessly fired multiple shots into the centre, endangering the lives of refugees inside.


Amnesty Pacific Researchers have been investigating the cruel and degrading treatment of more than 800 refugees illegally sent to Australia’s offshore detention centres and forced to endure appalling human rights violations. 

“Human suffering was a regular sight during my trip to Manus Island, where refugees and asylum seekers continue to languish in limbo – denied the one thing they want most – freedom.” - Kate Scheutze, Amnesty Pacific Researcher

It has reached crisis point and we need your help today.


Take action today to hold the Australian Government to account and call for the immediate release of all refugees.

Watch refugee stories from Manus: