Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Stories for World Refugee Day

6 Responses

  • David Haywood,

    Thanks so much for re-releasing those pieces, Russell.

    At one stage, I had a bunch of former refugees lined up to do an entire book of these stories -- but it turns out that publishers (even academic publishers) are surprisingly uninterested in this as a subject.

    This was before Public Address Books, of course...

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Even the "detention centres" in cities are quite nasty. I'm told they're not as bad as prison, but having visited one once, I can't bring myself to go back. The combination of it being a lot like prison and the dreadfully unhappy people inside was more than I can bear.

    I think its awful that we say to people "oh, you appear to have risked life and limb to get there and you have nothing but the clothes on your back ... best clap you in prison indefinitely just in case you're willing to do that for trivial reasons"... {in my best Emma voice} Really?! That's really all you can come up with, Australia?

    "not as bad as prison" is not the bar I want to set for our treatment of refugees.

    I was very happy when NZ agreed to take a bunch of refugees that Australia had refused. It's one of the things making me want to move back to NZ (which unfortunately is off the table until I break up with my partner... and I don't want that to happen).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    Also, from Shahzad Ghahreman:

    I think we should fight hard to keep our cultural values in New Zealand. Just because Australia does certain things, or Europe, or the United States - perhaps bending the rules on human rights a little - it doesn't mean that we should blindly follow. They can have their way of life, and we should keep ours. If I have learned anything in my life - it's that integrity is a valuable commodity. It's not something you should give away easily or willingly.

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1233 posts Report Reply

  • Tracey Barnett,

    For those interested in asylum and refugee issues here in Godzone, may I do a quick request? Kindly 'like' the Facebook page, "We Are Better Than That". I post news and updates on issues that directly affect New Zealand and the region. I am hoping to spread the word and get the hashtag #WeAreBetterThanThat going when we do discuss refugee issues to unify New Zealand's voice, hopefully one of continued simple respect and human dignity. I also feel passionately that we should not follow what has become Australia's foray into modern-day gulags. Australia's national shame doesn't have to be ours. Kindly spread the word, We Are Better Than That. Cheers, Tracey

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Australian numbers that probably hide a lot of stories:

    UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told an audience at the UNHCR-NGO consultations in Geneva this week that he was ''very concerned'' about Australia's offshore processing centres for asylum seekers and Australia should take the ultimate responsibility for people who arrive on its shores.
    ''Australia is a very strange situation,'' Mr Guterres said.
    ''It has the most successful resettlement program I can imagine and the community integration is excellent.
    ''The problem is when we discuss boats and there, of course, we enter into a very, very, very dramatic thing. I think it is a kind of collective sociological and psychological question.''

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Waugh,

    I'm glad you've got Peoples on board.... Love those guys!
    Best coffee in Wellington, and the most ethically awesome bunch I've ever met.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 98 posts Report Reply

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