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"Refugees are not a number nor a problem, but are persons"

"Refugees are not a number nor a problem but are persons, each of whom is precious, each of whom has a story, each of whom makes a claim on us as fellow human beings," writes Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ. "In Australia some refugees have been accepted in Australia from refugee camps. Others are not recognised as refugees. Some are found in detention centres; others live in the community, relying on charity for themselves and their families. Some still live on Manus Island and on Nauru."

"We do not often hear their stories. But occasionally one breaks through. One of these was Behrouz Bouchani’s account of his life on Manus Island:  No Friend but the Mountains: Writings from Manus Prison. It is partly the terrifying story told by a sensitive and enquiring man of administrative brutality that destroyed people sent there. But it is also the remarkable story of a person who will be scarred for life by his experience, but refused to surrender his humanity. He was forced to leave his own land, sought freedom by travelling across the world, survived a terrifying sea journey from Indonesia and was despatched from Christmas Island to a hell on Manus Island, and wrote what will surely be recognised as one of the great books of Australian literature."

"Neither as Australians nor as Catholics can we simply shrug off the sufferings of refugees and our part in them. We can do better than this."
 
Read Fr Andrew Hamilton's full reflection here




 
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