I am a trapped refugee, please help me and my friends

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“I ran for safety but faced with tragedy. Indonesia is where I end up in a legal limbo and lost my hope for the future. This is the country where I suffered most both emotionally and mentally. It is a continuation of long-term suffering where freedom is long destined hope.”

My name is Joniad and I am a registered Rohingya refugee. Stateless and destitute, I have escaped genocide in my home country only to get caught in Australia’s uncompromising immigration policies. The persecuted refugees just like me have been stranded in Indonesia, in legal limbo for seven to ten years.  Our voices have remained unheard for too long. We are seeking your support now.

Scott Morrison’s 2014 decision to freeze resettlement process for refugees in Indonesia has created a humanitarian crisis here that nobody seems to be talking about. Despite being registered UNHCR refugees, his brutal decision deprives us of our basic right to apply for resettlement. 

More than 14,000 vulnerable refugees are stuck in Indonesia without any rights to education, work or even to drive a vehicle. We are not allowed to leave Indonesia because we’re stateless, and we can’t go home because our lives would be in danger. We are losing hope for a safe future for ourselves. We are desperate for your help to lift this ban on resettlement.

We hear that Australia is a fair country that gives everyone a fair go. We have respect and affection for Australian citizens, many of whom have shown immense kindness to us. This is why we are reaching out to you to help us as we fight every day for our basic rights. We deserve to rebuild our communities. 

In Indonesia, we have been protesting and rallying for our basic rights since 2013. However, there is little we can do since Indonesia is not a part of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and unfortunately has no legal obligation to us.

We plead with Australian citizens to stand up for us and urge your government to open a legal pathway for refugees in Indonesia to seek asylum in Australia. As a signatory of the UN declaration on Refugees, Australia must be held accountable for its promise to protect refugees. All we want is a safe place to call our home. After years of war, trauma and persecution, is it too much to ask?

Please sign our petition asking Australia to lift its ban on resettlement of refugees in Indonesia.