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An open letter from the women of Australia to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

This petition had 24,594 supporters

An open letter from the women of Australia to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

We the undersigned women of Australia are speaking out in support of the women, children and men detained on Nauru and Manus Island. Families, women and children who are now suffering ongoing sexual assault and torment both within and without the detention centres of Nauru and Manus Island.

Many women across Australia understand only too well what it is like to live in fear of violence and sexual assault. That’s why we can no longer watch in silence as some of the world’s most vulnerable people confront that horror in the twilight world of Australia’s detention centres.

Over recent months there have been a number of reports and media articles about the sexual assault of women and children, of women being bashed and raped once they are released to live in the community, children suffering devastating mental health issues and men being assaulted and breaking under camp conditions.

Neither Nauru nor Manus Island governments are in any position to guarantee the safety of Australia’s asylum seekers obligations, whether asylum-seekers are locked up in the centres or released into the community. Nauru is in such a parlous state of dysfunction that New Zealand has just announced it is no longer willing to fund its justice system. Staff who report the abuse are sacked and medical staff now confront the threat of a two-year jail sentence for reporting the abuse of women and children.

Enough is enough.

We are demanding the urgent and immediate removal of all asylum seekers and refugees from Nauru and Manus Island on the  grounds that neither the Government of Nauru nor Manus Island can guarantee the effective protection of women, children and men.  

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