This panel will bring together refugees, eyewitnesses, and activists to discuss the disgraceful and ongoing cruelty meted out by our government to refugees, as well as the heroic resistance by refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.
Behrouz Boochani is a Kurdish refugee from Ilam, in Iran, who has been imprisoned on Manus Island for over 5 years. He is a journalist, film-maker and author of the newly released and highly acclaimed book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison. For years, the writings of Behrouz Boochani, along with his film Chauka: Please Tell Us the Time, have been a rare window into the reality of Australia’s brutal refugee policy, bringing attention to the humanity, voices and actions of refugees themselves as they experience and resist their indefinite detention.
Behrouz will be speaking from Manus Island via phone link, about the current situation for refugees there and the release of his book.
Copies of No Friend But the Mountains will be available for purchase.
Aran Mylvaganam was born in Tamil Eelam, North-East of Sri Lanka. Between 1995 and 1997 he lived in a refugee camp in Udayarkaddu, before coming to Australia as a 13-year-old unaccompanied refugee in 1997. He was detained in Villawood detention centre for three months. In 2011 he founded the Tamil Refugee Council, and has campaigned tirelessly for refugee rights. Aran currently works as an Industrial advocate with the Finance Sector Union and spokesperson for the Tamil Refugee Council, and is a member of the Victorian Socialists.
Hersha Kadkol is the National Union of Students’ Ethnocultural Officer, the key activist involved in organising anti-racist campaigns on university campuses around Australia. She is currently involved in helping to organise the national “Books Not Bombs” campaign in opposition to the federal government’s funding of the arms industry to the detriment of education and the collaboration between universities and defence industries. Hersha has been involved in organising anti-racist campaigns for a number of years, including in solidarity with refugees and Palestine.