Here is the translation of a letter I have received from Nauru. I have edited it so the writer cannot be identified and singled out for special punishment. It is fairly typical of the way Australia is mistreating refugees in detention. Try to imagine yourself in this person’s shoes:
“I am [AB] a stateless [person]. I have two [teenage] sons …. Now we are staying in Immigration detention centre Nauru. We arrived in Christmas island by boat in December 2013. …
[Early in 2015], I was emergency medi-vac to [XYZ, an Australian city] for a heart attack, and gastric ulcer … Later … I was sent … to see a specialist. The specialist admitted me to stay in the hospital for four days. During my stay I had a thorough investigation and specialist decided to do a minor heart operation. Later I was discharged [and] he gave me various medications for two weeks. He also advised that I need to take medication for six months. I was then sent back to … detention centre.
[Shortly after] an immigration officer came past and told me that I was to leave [XYZ] detention centre and transit to stay in [ABC, another city] for further treatment. In the late afternoon we arrived to [ABC] airport and took us to the [ABC] detention centre At that time an immigration officer came past and said tomorrow myself and my sons were going to back to Nauru. She brought some paper for us to sign to agree but we refused. At that time she asked why we didn’t sign the paper work. I replied that I had to stay in [ABC] for further medical treatment because I am suffering from chest pain and stomach pain. The officer said whatever reason, she doesn’t care and they are sending me and my kids, even by force. At the same time my heart was racing and I asked for my medication and medical staff told me that my medicine was left behind in [XYZ] and gave me only Panadol. After that they put us in a big sitting room in which there was a big group of people but was only a toilet for over 20 people.
At 4.00 am one bus arrived, they took us to get in the bus. It was Serco security forces. After 45 minutes we arrived in the airport. The bus stopped near the air plane, every one got off and myself and my kids refused to get off. I explained to the Serco securities forces, because of my medical documents and I didn’t sign the paper work. There were many Serco around me on the bus they told me they are still putting me on the plane. At the same time the white bearded Serco officer brought handcuffs and gave me a warning, “are you going to get in air plane or we are going to handcuff you.”
… At that time one of the Serco officer shoved me in my chest with his hand and struck me my back with his knee. They dragged me and put on handcuffs I saw my kids with some of the Serco officers and they twisted my kids’ hands around their back. This scene made me heart broken. They forced me onto the air plane. I saw a male Immigration officer standing by the door. When I was in the air plane, I asked if they could take off the handcuffs and was told “NO”. I said you people treat me like North Korean and Burmese soldiers some of the officers laughed sarcastically.
The journey was from [ABC] to Cairns, from Cairns to Nauru. We left [ABC] at five – thirty in the morning arrived to Nauru at four – thirty in the afternoon. The full journey I was hand cuffed. …”