I just want to thank everybody again for helping Ismail, a refugee from Somalia who had been on Manus Island for seven years and was then medevacced to Australia in 2019. He remains in a hotel, where he has been locked up for 15 months.
Ismail is in a terrible situation. Although Canada has indicated that they will take him as a refugee, and we have the five sponsors necessary, and we have raised the $20,000 for him to go there, his application remains on hold.
For anybody who has had to endure self-isolation or quarantine as a result of COVID-19, imagine being locked in a hotel room for 15 months and not being able to do anything about it. Ismail is allowed out of his room for one hour per day. He has not been outside for 15 months.
This is an appalling situation, particularly for somebody who suffers from quite severe mental issues as a result of his background and the trauma that he has suffered. For more information about Ismail’s background, you can read our previous blogs about him here, here and here.
Basically, he was kidnapped by Muslim terrorists, his father was killed, and his mother was taken away. After escaping, he managed to get to Indonesia and then to Australia in 2013, but he was detained on Manus Island from 2013 to late 2019.
60 or so of the men from Manus Island were released last week. Unfortunately, there are still 140 men locked up in medevac in Australia and they cannot get away. They have nowhere to go. This causes severe mental trauma, and Ismail has been hit particularly hard, even making attempts on his own life.
Ismail is currently in a high-watch cell in Melbourne Immigration Transit Accomodation. He does not understand why so many of the men who were locked up on Manus Island have been released, and that he and others are still waiting, despite his status as a refugee. It is incredibly difficult for him, and for all of the men in his situation.
He should get his medical clearance within the next six months, but the deliberate delays by the Australian Border Force, the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Immigration are galling, and there is little that can be done about it.
I will update you as to Ismail’s situation when I get more information.