At 19 years of age, Abdul Aziz Muhamat made the impossible decision to leave his family in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2013. He is one of the hundreds and thousands of people who have been displaced by the conflict. Fearing for his life, Aziz flew to Indonesia where he was promised safe passage to Australia by a smuggler but instead he was transferred to a detention centre on Manus Island.
The forcible transfer of individuals to Manus Island amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Prolonged detention, fear of violence and lack of adequate facilities and access to basic necessities take a toll on those detained. Manus Island is not an appropriate place to settle vulnerable people who have fled persecution and came seeking safety and Australia’s protection.
Having studied business management, Aziz hoped to one day become a lawyer and fight the injustice that he has seen in Sudan. Instead, the recognized refugee and human rights defender became one of the leading spokespeople about the grave situation within the detention camps. Using his mobile phone, Aziz shared news, photos and a series of WhatsApp voice memos to make a podcast to expose the cruel reality of Australia’s immigration policy.
We received great news in mid June 2019. His asylum claim was approved, and Aziz now has permanent residency in Switzerland.