Dear Prime Minister

by Rosalind

You said yesterday that Australians are “sick of being lectured to” by the United Nations, as if the United Nations has no right to be critical of our treatment of asylum seekers.

I don’t believe you have the right to speak for all Australians, although that is implied in your statement. There are very many Australians who are sorry and ashamed because of our treatment of these victims of war, oppression and poverty.

You suggest that the fact that we have “stopped the boats” is justification for this treatment, but I don’t believe that this is a situation where the end justifies the means (if that can ever be the case).

How long are the lives of these human beings, who are already victims, going to be made so intolerable that other victims will decide that Australia is not for them?

I received a letter from you today referring to the sentencing of Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. I am glad to know that you oppose the death sentence at home and abroad. Why then are you sentencing the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to what seems very like a living death?