The Australian government has long been criticized for its treatment of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and now the detained asylum seekers are begging Barack Obama to get them out.
In a letter to Obama, and to the Canadian government, 10 Sri Lankans describe being detained for over one and a half years, according to The Guardian. The detention center on Manus Island, PNG, has been described as an “Australian Guantánamo.“
“A man recently died from an infection in custody due to poor health facilities,” the letter has stated.
“We are provided expired medicines and sometimes fed with contaminated food. We are treated just like animals with inhumane and immoral responses by the management authorities.”
The letter ends with, “In this tough time of disgrace and disappointment you are the only hope for us to give us a new life.”
Meanwhile, the Australian government has now handed 37 Sri Lankan’s over to their native authorities after the Australian coastguard intercepted a boat carrying the asylum seekers near the Indonesian coast.
The boat left Sri Lanka on November 1, according to The Guardian, adding that six children were among the passengers.
All of the 37 asylum seekers have now been returned home and are imprisoned in a Sri Lankan jail.
The Guardian has also reported that, “Less than two years ago, the Australian government’s own statistics showed that about 90% of boat arrivals, including those from Sri Lanka, were judged to be in need of protection. Yet suddenly, under a secret process on a boat on the high seas, with no legal oversight, only one in 38 is judged to need protection.”