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Djokovic saga highlights plight of refugees

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Detainees are hoping the media circus surrounding Novak Djokovic will bring attention to their situation (Image via Flickr/matthrkac)

The following is a speech given by detainee Joy Miah at the Park Hotel refugee rally on 9 January after Novak Djokovic had also been detained.

Hello, beautiful humans. I extend my heartfelt greetings to everyone for coming here today.

I would like to acknowledge the beautiful land. Stolen land of the Wurundjeri of the Kulin nation on which we are today.

And I pay my respects. I acknowledge all Aboriginal Elders past present future and emerging.

My name is Joy. I am a refugee from Bangladesh. I am one of 33 men living in this Park Hotel prison torture centre. Well, 34 now, because on Thursday, Novak Djokovic came to join us in our prison.

We are sorry that he has been detained, but we ask you: why does it take the presence of a celebrity to bring attention to our plight? 

He is just a human being like us, with hopes and dreams, sorrows and joys.

Mr Djokovic, will you speak out for us when you are released to get on with your life? 

Will you tell the world how we have been at the mercy of Australia's cruel immigration system for ten years?

How we are still waiting to being our lives in safety?

On 29 December during dinner, we found maggots in our food. This food is unhealthy, we are getting sick because of this food.

Freedom is beautiful for every human being. All my life, I am inside a room, 24/7. Inside this room, I try not to die. I always fight for my freedom.

We can no longer breathe inside this torture prison. Every human being wants natural light and air. We have no access, we haven't been able to do that for the last two years. Why aren't we human beings like you?

I was brought to Australia for medical treatment in 2020. Since then, I have not been able to get any good treatment without Panadol.

Morrison Government, why are you keeping us in this torture centre for almost two years for no crime? What is the reason?

We have committed no crime. We are all innocent humans, as we can see lots of beautiful human beings in front of us.

I forgot to mention these ten years. These are not just from 2022, those are from 2013 and we are still suffering in 2022.

And still we have 34 innocent people in this Park Hotel prison torture centre.

I would like to tell the Australian Government ten years is enough. Please, enough is enough.

Why are you holding us back, for what? What is the reason?

We are pretty sure the Australian Government torturing us is paid for by your taxes. Is there anyone can tell us — who can give back our ten years, our young lives?

When I came to Christmas Island in 2013 I was young man. When I came here, I had dreams. I don't need to win the Australian Open tennis tournament. But I had my own dreams.

I wanted to build up my career. I wanted make a beautiful family. But my dream never come back. Because everything was ruined and finished.

Who can give back my dream? My beautiful life. And our ten years.

Mr Morrison, could you please give back our young life? These ten years?

My only request to the Government of this beautiful country was freedom and safety. What we found is that the prison has been torturing us for ten years. Without any reason.

Today we want justice from you for our ten years.

Please, we want support from you. We are all mentally ill. We are all physically ill because of this torture.

Please, we want to be free.

Please open the windows.

Please open the doors.

Please set us free.

Thank you so much, lovely people, for making us happy with your amazing support.

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Djokovic saga highlights plight of refugees

The following is a speech given by detainee Joy Miah at the Park Hotel refugee ...  
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