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Byron Shire
October 25, 2021

Cruelty to refugee boy

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Bobbi Allan, Mullumbimby

Thank you for last week’s excellent article about Angus MacDonald’s portrait of Behrouz Boochani. Behrouz’ book No Friend but the Mountains opened our eyes to the injustices and cruelties of offshore detention of refugees and asylum seekers.

I just finished reading another book, which reveals even more depths of cruelty and injustice to a refugee – this time perpetrated personally by Scott Morrison against a 16 year old Afghan Hazara boy who made the perilous journey to Australia all alone, after his father was murdered by the Taliban.

Emma Adams’ book is Unbreakable Threads: the true story of an Australian mother, a refugee boy and what it really means to be a family, published by Allen & Unwin, 2018. As a refugee advocate, I thought I knew most things about Australia’s deplorable treatment of asylum seekers and refugees. No, I didn’t. I thought I was beyond shock on this issue. Emma’s story shocked me.

Emma and her family offered their home to Abdul who was in Immigration Detention in Darwin. Eventually they succeeded in their bid to have Abdul released into their care, as ‘community custodians’. Abdul is now an integral part of their family, and this is a heart-warming story with a happy ending – at least for now.

Emma’s story exposes Morrison’s direct and personal cruelty to Abdul when he was Minister for Immigration in the Howard government years. He was aided and abetted by many bureaucrats in the toxic cultural sludge inside the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Thankfully there were a handful of staff who still retained their humanity.

Scott Morrison had other workable options for ‘stopping the boats’. He chose to do it through cruelty and wrecking lives. So far, he hasn’t succeeded in wrecking Abdul’s life, but he gave it his best shot.

Subsequent prime ministers and ministers for immigration – both Coalition and ALP – have also been personally complicit in serious cruelties and injustices to refugees and asylum seekers every day since [Morrison’s time in that portfolio]. These will continue unless we all raise our voices even louder. Abdul is still vulnerable to deportation.

Every Australian should read this excellent book. I found it in our local library.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Well done Bobbi , a nice story and glad this young
    Man has found a home in Australia..
    However i will never forget what the Labor government were responsible for when 1200
    Men and women and children had drowned Trying
    To get to Australia under there watch .. dont
    Forget the Greens were 100 % complicit personally as well ..

    • Yes Barrow, it’s much better that they now die just as inhumanely in similar numbers on foreign soil, in over-crowded refugee camps, out of sight of our media and politicians through disease, malnutrition and violence (often officially sanctioned or perpetrated), or by their own hands on Manus or Naru when the years of hopelessness and helplessness finally take their toll.
      If only they had the money they could fly here like the rest of our illegal immigrants and charm the palms of those in power.
      And it’s drawing a long idealogical bow to claim Labour & the Greens are responsible for them drowning. They hardly put them on boats, or caused the boats to sink. But good on you for not wasting the opportunity for another nonsensical anti-Labor, anti-Green spray.
      Applying your same twisted and heartless logic Scummo and Potatohead are just as responsible for the ongoing deaths in foreign refugee camps

  2. That reminds N.See you could only imagine what outrage there would be if MR Potato head
    Morrison were in charge with whats happening
    In Victoria and inparticular the mistreatment
    Of women during this pandemic regarding
    Law enforcement… nothing to see here
    Says the ABC .. and the Echo whats your
    Take on these human rights violations??
    And what about the the Feminists? ME TO
    Movement ? The Greens !! Civil libertarians?
    All advocate acceptance, kindness
    All Silent N.SEE ?? Why? well Labor – Greens
    In Victoria.. not to mention one young Journalist
    Who dared to ask Mr Andrews some hard questions countability really !! He treated here with
    Disdain. Now this young lady has to cancel here
    Twitter account because of death threats..
    Charming ! Virtue signaling “poisonous” hypocritical left !!

    • Hi Barrow.Or should thaT be BARROW ?!??
      In the words of your favourite air-head “please explain”? I did try seeing your point of view but I couldn’t fit my head up there!
      Please in future can your comments to the Echo be in English? It does help make them easier to understand, although I doubt the existence of any coherent link between Bobbi’s letter to the Echo and your weird COVID rant.

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