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Thursday, 2 December 2021
Page: 7106

Senator McKIM (TasmaniaDeputy Leader of the Australian Greens in the Senate and Australian Greens Whip) (13:50): It is now nearly nine years since thousands of people were exiled to either Manus Island or Nauru just because they reached out a hand to our country for help and asked to seek asylum in our country. Some of those people are still in prison today—nearly nine years down the track—having done nothing wrong whatsoever, having committed no crime whatsoever. They remain imprisoned here in Australia today.

It's really good news that 10 more people from that cohort have recently been released from hotel prisons into the Australian community, but there are still 75 people from that cohort imprisoned in a hotel prison system or in immigration detention. These people deserve answers. I asked the minister today: why is it that these people are still in detention, coming up on nine years now, where they have been brutalised and dehumanised? They have watched their friends die. They have seen murder, rape, child sex abuse and children with resignation syndrome, who can't get out of bed and have ceased all communication with the world. They have been beaten by police and have absolutely had their living human rights trampled over by the governments of Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Australia. Some are still in detention today. The minister must now release the remaining members of that cohort who are in detention in Australia. They should be released into the community and given the freedom and safety they deserve.