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Apr 28, 2017 3:50 PM ET

Archived: Help the Men on Manus: Many of the men on Manus need urgent help dealing with legal and medical forms and documentation – please contribute to providing on the ground practical and emotional support

iCrowdNewswire - Apr 28, 2017

Help the Men on Manus

Many of the men on Manus need urgent help dealing with legal and medical forms and documentation – please contribute to providing on the ground practical and emotional support

The men of Manus need your help.

The men incarcerated in appalling conditions on the Manus Island Offshore Detention camp are facing absolute crisis as third country deals break down and forced deportations have begun.

A refugee advocate* who has worked closely with many of these men over the last 3 years, has recently travelled to Manus to provide urgent help and support on the ground as conditions deteriorate. Like a number of other advocates, she has been in regular contact with many of the men for a number of years. She helps support men who have been sick and not received proper medical attention by liaising with organisations such as Doctors for Refugees and the AMA, assembling and copying the necessary documentation, and collating their medical files. She has also liaised with numerous lawyers to help assemble signatures and documentation for various court cases. Currently the men are unable to send their files electronically and they are now unable to print documents in camp so they cannot sign forms to provide consent for advocates to act for them in health and legal matters.

The recent shooting incident in the camp has had a devastating impact on men who are already severely traumatised and continue to live in appalling conditions with no idea of when, if ever, they will be safely settled.

For the almost 170 men whose refugee status has been classified as negative, the situation is even more dire. The majority of these cases have not been fairly assessed so there is an urgent need to mount a legal challenge to reassess the status of these men.

How can we Help?

There are no NGOs in Manus and no-one to help these guys with any problems they have.

The men need an ally, someone to act for them, help them prepare and gather documents and signatures that might be needed. Our advocate has begun collecting evidence and interviewing men to support a legal case appealing those with ‘negative’ and ‘double negative’ refugee determinations.**

This is perhaps the most dangerous and fearful time for men on Manus that we have yet seen – they need an advocate on the ground.

Privately raised funds have only partially covered the travel and accomodation costs so far; ideally she needs more time there to continue with interviewing and documentation, and to meet with lawyers. The men are also asking her to stay longer. However we are already in debt and have no money to cover another week or two of accomodation or food.

Funds will be used to help pay for travel and accomodation on Manus as well as administrative costs such as printing and copying documents.

The costs of airfares alone are almost $2000 and accomodation on PNG is expensive. Every extra day we can fund provides more hope for the men and a chance to strengthen the legal case for reassessing the negative determinations.

In the event that we raise more funds than needed for these costs, any remaining will be put towards a new campaign to fund the legal challenge.

* Due to the difficulties of obtaining a visa we are not using the advocate’s name at this time. Most people directed to this page will have received a direct email with more information. Please contact us if you have any further questions.

** for more detailed explanation of these terms, and some facts around the highly problematic nature of the determination process on Manus see: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/apr/20/nearly-50-manus-island-detainees-told-they-have-no-claim-to-refugee-status

Team Members

Helen Merrick

Contact Information:

Helen Merrick

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