Statement from Imran Mohammad

Imran, now 23, fled Myanmar at age 16 and taught himself to read and write English while being held for over three and a half years in the Australian Government’s refugee detention centre on Manus Island. 

My name is Imran Mohammad. I am a stateless Rohingya from Myanmar who is a genuine refugee on Manus Island.

My fellow[s] and I have been locked up in Australia’s offshore detention centre for almost four years. Somewhere in our hearts we had the hope that we’ll be moved to safety by the end of October this year.

However, this hope was dashed when another devastating announcement was made on 15 May, on a Monday afternoon by PNG immigration which has ruined the lives of refugees and asylum seekers once again. The recent announcement of closing down Manus Island detention centre and re-locating us to the transit centre has made us even more fragile. We have not slept and eaten properly since the announcement was made. We know from our experience that our lives will be in great danger and will experience a lot of harm and lives can be lost.

There are more than 600 refugees in this centre. The US has interviewed around 250 refugees and we hope they will welcome into their country. However, we cannot believe it until we see it.

We fear for those who will be left behind as there is no safety and structure for refugees to be resettled [in PNG].

We are hopeless, powerless, broken and vulnerable and have no intention to fight against anyone. 

All we want is a life that we can create in safety - that’s all we create. And I beg you today on behalf of all the refugees and asylum seekers, please open your heart, show some kindness and compassion and humanity.

We promise we’ll give you our blood and sweat to your great nation [Australia]. Please let us in, please let us be part of your country so we can devote ourselves to your beautiful country.