A few weeks ago, we posted about Dr Sayed Mirwais Rohani.
As we said originally, Mirwais was a doctor, and his degree was recognised here. He tried to help others during his time on Manus by working in a hospital, and he tried to visit his parents, who had been accepted as refugees in the United Kingdom.
Both his help and his hope were refused by the Australian government.
The government did not even release his name when he died.
His name was Dr Sayed Mirwais Rohani and he deserved better.
We have received some feedback in relation to that post, including some comments suggesting that he should have gone through proper channels, or that if he had been a doctor he would have been accepted, or that Australia would be flooded with refugees.
None of the above is true. The reality is that he did go through proper channels at the time. He arrived by boat, as he was allowed to do at the time. He was legal, and he was assessed as a refugee. But because of the horrible times and the policies of the Australian government, he was never allowed to remain here as a resident, nor to go to the United Kingdom to visit or stay with his parents.
We also received some positive feedback, and a more recent picture of Dr Sayed Mirwais Rohani.
“Dr Sayed Mirwais Rohani was my friend. Kind, polite and very respectful. Dr Mirwais held a medical degree that was recognised in Australia. He spoke six languages with fluent English.
Dr Mirwais made friends easily because of his polite engaging manner. He was much loved by his devoted family and would have thrived in their care had he been given permission to relocate to the UK to be with them. He was not allowed to live in Australia but also not allowed to leave Australia. That is why we, his loving friends, say that Dr Mirwais did not jump. He was pushed.”
This recent photo was taken when he was in community detention in Brisbane, when some of his friends were able to visit him and he hosted them for lunch.
There will be an inquest.
We have posted previously on these issues over a number of years.
- World Refugee Day
- Immigration Detention: The Financial Cost and the Human Cost
- International Migrants Day
- Australia’s “Kafkaesque” Refugee Policy
There are many solutions to our refugee crisis other than detention.
The cost to Australia in monetary terms is enormous. The cost to our reputation is shameful. And the cost to innocent people like Dr Sayed Mirwais Rohani is a loss of hope, and sometimes a loss of life.