Lisa Dillon, Ballina
Imagine this: you are incarcerated in a prison in a tropical climate where, every time you need to use the toilet, you have to wade through ankle-deep urine-contaminated water.
Imagine this: all the drains are open and when the generator breaks down (which is often) and the toilets block; those drains also contain sewage.
Imagine this too: the prisoners set up a makeshift backgammon game with a marking pen, a piece of plastic, and bottle tops. The guards shut it down because all games are prohibited.
Do you imagine you’re in one of the tough prisons we’ve all heard about in Asia?
This hell-hole was the Manus Regional Processing Centre, staffed mainly by Australians, financed by and operated under the control of the Australian Government.
Although no longer in a fenced prison, the refugees of Manus Island are living a nightmarish, pointless existence that’s causing many to become severely mentally ill. This includes some who were unaccompanied children when they arrived six years ago.
If you too feel angry about this and would like to help, please join Ballina Region for Refugees as a volunteer. Register on the BR4R website: br4r.org.au.