A group of us tried to reach New Zealand at the start of this year. We were in a boat for 26 hours, in the middle of the Tasman sea when an Australian helicopter came to take photos. After that, the coastguards appeared to take us back to Australia. Infected and sick people went three weeks without their medication.
The doctors stopped coming, no help, nothing. Even the guards don’t want to come near us, they even told everyone else not to come near us. The house we got put in was crowded, very small, no windows and no fresh air. We are still being forced to share beds, we are pretty much forced to share everything. Around four weeks ago, a young Somali man killed himself after being stuck in the camp for six months. His name was Muhammad, he was 20 years old. When officials from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) visited, he asked them why he had spent so long in prison. But the UNHCR just laughed and rejected him.
The UNHCR didn’t care, they didn’t care about anyone but themselves. Seven others this year died from the conditions. Nobody has taken responsibility for us, no one looking after or out for us. Our conditions are just getting worse and worse. There’s not enough food or water, some people are even drinking toilet water. Everything is being covered up. When people come to visit us, the guards are giving us everything we need, good food, a clean environment, and sanitation. But us Refugees aren’t allowed to have any contact with the visitors, we don’t have any chance to talk about the conditions of these camps and how no one is helping us.
One of the refugee’s named Barnaby forced his way through the guards to talk to the UN commissioner. Barnaby got to the commissioner and tried to talk about all the problems, but he just turned around and said, “I know all the problems”. After that, the guards beat him and threatened him so that he would never mention it again. From that moment on no one has talked or seen him again.
The Australians who are supposed to be taking care and looking after us only care about money. We are forced to ask our families to send us money for food and other products. It arrives through the black market and when we get it its half gone as the guards take half of the money. Recently there were a few of us who tried to break down the door and run away.
We were later caught by the guards who then took us and beat us.