Refugees Speak of ‘Systematic Torture’ at Hands of Australian Government

Two remaining refugees being housed at Australia’s Manus Island detention centre have revealed the trauma they have been forced to endure while awaiting their fates.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced the facility’s closure on Wednesday after meeting with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill.

“People from Manus Regional Processing Centre will not be settling in Australia,” Mr Dutton told the ABC Radio National.

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Immigration Department figures reveal that as of June 30, 854 men were still being held in the facility while their asylum claims are being processed.

Sudanese refugee Aziz Adam is one of those men and has been housed at the remote detention centre on Manus Island since 2013.

“They just want us to die. For the last three years we were under heavy, systematic torture (which) aim to force us to go back … hundreds of us lost their minds completely,” Mr Adam told CNN.

Mr Adam belongs to an African tribe called the Zaghawa and said he would rather die in the ocean than be returned to his home country, where he will be tortured.

After his family were first imprisoned, Mr Adam fled to South Sudan and then to Indonesia.

He risked his life to travel to Australia by boat, which landed on Christmas Island.

“When I came to Australia first, I thought (I was) in safe hands and place, I started to think how to get my family out of that mess in Sudan. I thought my life will be hundreds sof times better — no more gunshot, no rebels, no killing or raping,” he said.

Mr Adam said he had been mentally and physically tortured at the detention centre. He claims to have seen friends die and after allegedly enduring abuse at the hands of officers, no longer wishes to be resettled in Australia.

“We started to plead with them, we don’t want to go to Australia, please leave us or let other countries like New Zealand or Canada take us, but the Australian government is refusing for those countries,” he said.

Lebanese detainee Ahmed Trad had his claim for asylum rejected and claims to have been waiting for months to find out when he will be deported.

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“My Mum pass(ed) away when I was here, in this detention centre,” Mr Trad said.

“My sister got married, and I’m here. My step-mum got pregnant and the child died, and I’m here. I have no feeling toward my family. They’ve been away from my eyes and my heart.”

Mr Trad is upset with the time he and his fellow detainees have wasted waiting.

“If the Australian government, they want to make us engineers … they can do. But they didn’t choose this way, they just choose to kill us, to kill our feeling, to kill our dream, our future, to not be ambitious anymore. In cold blood,” he said.

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