From Behind the Wire and the Wheeler Centre, The Messenger brings you into the Australian immigration detention centre on Manus Island – and reveals, in intimate detail, one man's experience of what it's really like to flee tragedy and seek asylum by boat.
#13 A Stranger in Geneva
In this episode – The Messenger's last – we follow Aziz through Geneva, Switzerland, as he negotiates meetings with diplomats and speeches to the UN. He struggles with an unexpected, oppressive dilemma – should he board a plane back to his brothers on Manus, or seek yet another uncertain path to safety and freedom?
#12 Flight from Manus
In this episode, Aziz finally – temporarily – escapes Papua New Guinea, five and a half years after the Australian government took him there against his will. But he has no proper passport or visa, and no idea what to expect. After years of exile and captivity, how will it feel to visit Switzerland – one of the richest countries in the world? And can Aziz make any difference for those who remain stuck on Manus Island and Nauru?
#11 We Lived as a Nation
In this episode, The Messenger returns to late 2017, and the crucial period when Australia shut down the Manus Regional Processing Centre and the men refused to leave. We take you inside the centre as the standoff unfolds. There are no guards, no caseworkers, no immigration officials – and no food, water, medicine or electricity. Aziz and his friends are in charge. How did they survive? And why did they stay?
What I Can See Right Now
I'm Not Really Settled Right Now
An eventful week has passed. After PNG immigration officials and police entered the decommissioned detention centre, destroying food, water and belongings, the 421 men remaining there are forced to relocate to the other facilities on Manus Island. After a brief spell of homelessness, Aziz has found a bed in the East Lorengau transit centre. In a chance meeting with Michael, he explains how he’s adjusting to the new situation – and trying to regain his energy to continue working.
We Are Looking After Each Other
Rain comes. In his voice messages, Aziz sounds unwell – but speaks at length about how, in spite of their living conditions, the men finally feel they have some control over their lives. He tells Michael about how they're cooperating with each other, too – splitting duties like security and the daily cleaning of the compound. 'We don't want always want to get the attention of the people about the hardship,' he explains.'We are just paying the price for our freedom.'
Customer ReviewsSee All
Beautifully raw and straight up
Such an important podcast I wish all Australians would listen to. It’s tough to listen to, knowing this is real and virtually happening as you listen.
This story echoes many of the challenges refugees in Nauru faced when I worked there in 2015. I hope with all my heart that the men from Manus can one day come to Australia. They are truely deserving and would make Australia a much better place with their presence and with their stories. Australia still needs to mature a lot as a nation and I hope our government can one day admit that they are party to psychological torture and human rights violations.
To Aziz and the men from Manus and the refugees and asylum
Seekers on Nauru, I am sorry for how my government has treated you and I hope we can make it right one day.
This is a beautiful (and painful) insight into Aziz's world. Please, everybody listen.
Some constructive critism though, its too long between actual events on Manus and the episode relating to it, maybe this is purposeful to try and give us a true sense of time moving so painfully slowly for those detained on Manus, but i feel that it is slowing the conversation that is sparked by listeners of this podcast I feel like maybe it is almost a disservice to Aziz and other detainees because his voice is not being heard nearer to 'real time'. It would have been great for example to hear his thoughts as we heard in the media about the death of his friend, about the american interviews, about the other recent events on Manus. It feels like we are missing a valuable voice in current events when we only hear it 6,7,8 months after the events happened. I understand that it is all volunteer hours to make the podcast and i am extremely grateful to able to hear this story at all, and appreciate the extraordinary amount of work that must go into producing something like this. I just hope that we can utilise Azizs willingness to share his pain and positivity to keep peoples attention on the human side of the story and i feel that in this modern world of the 24 hr news cycle and instant information gratiifcation that we will loose many people in the discussion if we dont try to be a little more up to date.
When i hear Azizs perspective on events it makes me want to agitate more, with friends, community and government, his story has so much power to transform peoples opinions, but often i feel like it might be too late to do anything meaningful by the time we hear his voice. It's all old news as far as the governments concerned by the time i have been inspired by the podcast to write letters - 6 months after the event. When Azizs voice is one of the only we hear from Manus i would just love it to have more power by making it current.
Australias treatment of detainees on Manus and Naru is sub human and makes me both ashamed to be Australian and also makes me want to act to prevent this treatment from happening. Thankyou so much for this podcast and bringing us a voice from this tragedy that i hope helps motivate Australians into action.