'Enough is enough', says Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv
"I say with many of my fellow Australians, enough is enough," states Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv in his statement on the 6th Anniversary of Australia’s Mandatory and Indefinite Offshore Detention Policy.
The weekend of 20/21 July 2019 marks the sixth anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s announcement that no person seeking asylum by boat would ever be resettled in Australia.
Bishop Long says, "Every single person arriving after that date was to be subjected to indefinite detention on Manus Island, PNG, or in the Republic of Nauru, under ‘processing’ arrangements between the Australian Government and those Pacific states."
"Six years on, roughly 800 refugees and people seeking asylum still remain trapped on Manus Island and Nauru. International agencies have been appalled by the conditions under which they live and the effects on their health, spirits and self-respect. Pope Francis with whom the bishops of Australia discussed the refugee crisis at their recent Ad Limina visit in Rome is also deeply concerned. The human costs on the detainees are mounting by the day. Already 12 young men have died over these past six years and many more have attempted self-harm out of utter despair.
"As a bishop and a former boat person, I deplore the detention of our brothers and sisters on Nauru and Manus Island. While recognising the effort of the government to find a durable solution, I say with many fellow Australians that enough is enough. The harsh treatment of this relatively small number of people – most of whom have been proven genuine refugees- over the past six years is more than a shame, a disgrace, or something that we can say ‘not in our name’ to."
Read the full statement, here.