2017-02-05 10:19:37 #bringthemhere #MEAAEquity #MEAAMedia Campaigns MediaRoom Releases

Dozens of journalists, actors, cartoonists and writers have written to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging him to resettle three of their colleagues from Manus Island to Australia.

In a letter co-ordinated by the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance and backed by a range of international freedom of expression organisations, they are calling for journalist Behrouz Boochani, actor Mehdi Savari, and cartoonist ‘Eaten Fish’, to be resettled in Australia after each has spent more than three years in the Manus Island regional processing centre.

All three men are originally from Iran and ventured to Australia to seek asylum. They were intercepted and then transferred to Manus Island in 2013.

MEAA is taking action on behalf of the three men as professional colleagues.

Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and editor who has been assessed as a refugee, has continued to work as a regular contributor to publications in Australia and overseas, often reporting on the situation and conditions on Manus Island.

Savari, an Ahwazi Arab performer, has also been found to be a refugee. He is a little person, and has met with severe discrimination over his life, which has been exacerbated by the conditions and his treatment on Manus Island over the last three years.

Eaten Fish is a cartoonist and artist who prefers to be known by his nom-de-plume whose refugee status is yet to be determined.  Since he was detained at Manus Island, he has been diagnosed with mental illnesses which have been compounded by his incarceration.

MEAA chief executive officer Paul Murphy said the long delays and ongoing uncertainty of any other resettlement deals had left the three men in limbo and they should be brought to Australia to continue their careers.

“We regard these three men, who each fled Iran separately and have sought asylum in Australia, as professional colleagues who can make a meaningful contribution if resettled in Australia.

“They each sought refuge from Iran so they could freely express themselves without fear of persecution or harm, but instead their freedom has been further suppressed in detention.

“All three have courageously continued to practice their vocations on Manus Island despite their incarceration.

“But as journalists, writers, performers and artists, we cannot stand by and allow our fellow professionals to be treated in this way.”

Murphy said MEAA has been a long-term campaigner against the strict media blackouts, secrecy and harsh anti-whistleblower legislation that governs not only the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, but asylum seeker policy in general.

“We find these deliberate attempts to suppress reporting about the treatment of asylum seekers and the conditions of the centres to be an affront to press freedom,” he said.

The letter to the Prime Minister has also been signed by the international federations for journalists and actors, the writers’ human rights group PEN International, and other members of the global network of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange.

The public can add their name at meaa.org/campaigns/bring-them-here/.


Paul Murphy, CEO, Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Alan Fletcher, actor

Abbe Holmes, performer

Adele Ferguson, investigative reporter, The Age

Adil Soz – International Foundation for Protection of Freedom of Speech

Afghanistan Journalists Center

Alex Miller, writer

Alex Skovron, writer

Alexandra Wake, Journalism Educator, RMIT.

Alexis Wright, writer

Amanda Bishop, actor

Amanda Meade, media correspondent, Guardian Australia

Americans for Democracy and Human Rights in Bahrain

Andrea Goldsmith, author

Andrew Dyson, cartoonist, The Age

Andrew Weldon, cartoonist

Angela Savage, author

Anita Heiss, author and poet

Anna Goldsworthy, writer and pianist

Arnold Zable, author

Bali Padda, actor

Ben Schneiders, investigative reporter, The Age

Bill Garner, writer and actor

Bunty Avieson, journalist and author

Cambodian Center for Human Rights

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Caroline Graham, writer

Cartoonists Rights Network International

Cathy Peters, radio producer

Cathy Wilcox, cartoonist, Sydney Morning Herald

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility Freedom Forum

Charlotte Wood, writer

Chloe Dallimore, actor/President, MEAA Equity

Chris Graham, publisher and editor, New Matilda

Chris Nash, Professor Journalism, Monash University

Chris Wormersley, author

Chrissie Page, actor

Christine McKenzie, writer

Christopher Downes, cartoonist

Christos Tsiolkas, writer and broadcaster

David Pope, cartoonist

David Squires, cartoonist

Debra Adelaide, writer

Delia Falconer, author

Dennis Atkins, national affairs editor, The Courier Mail

Di Martin, journalist and writer.

Don Bridges, actor

Dr Fiona Martin, On Line media academic, University of Sydney

Dr Olivier Jutel University of the South Pacific

Dragan Zivancevic, writer and director

Drusilla Modjeska, author

Elena Carapetis, actor

Elliot Perlman, author and barrister

Emily Bitto, writer

Erik Jensen, editor, The Saturday Paper

Evelyn Juers, writer

Fiona Katauskas, cartoonist

Fiona Press, actor

Fiona Wright, Author

First Dog On The Moon, cartoonist

Francis Greenslade, actor

Frank Moorhouse, writer

Gabrielle Jackson, opinion editor, Guardian Australia

Gail Jones, author

Geoff Morrell, actor

Geoff Parish, journalist

Geordie Williamson, writer and critic

Gina McColl, investigations deputy editor, The Age

Glen Le Lievre, cartoonist

Glenn Hazeldine, actor

Globe International Center

Greg Baum, associate editor, The Age

Helen Dallimore, actor

Helen Garner, writer

Human Rights Network for Journalists – Uganda

Independent Journalism Center – Moldova

Index on Censorship

International Federation of Actors

International Federation of Journalists

International Publishers Association Media Foundation for West Africa

Ivor Indyk, publisher

Jackie Mansourian, writer

Janet Galbraith, poet and co-ordinator of Writing Through Fences

Jason Klarwein, actor

Jeff Sparrow, writer and broadcaster

Jewel Topsfield, Indonesia correspondent, Fairfax Media

Johan Lidberg, journalist and academic

John Pilger, journalist

John Shakespeare, cartoonist & illustrator, Sydney Morning Herald

Jon Kudelka, cartoonist

Jonathan Mill, performer

Joshua Robertson, Brisbane correspondent, Guardian Australia

Judith Buckrich, writer

Judith Rodriguez, poet

Judy Horacek, cartoonist

June Factor, writer

Karen Middleton, chief political correspondent, The Saturday Paper

Karen Percy, senior reporter, ABC

Kate McClymont, investigative journalist, Sydney Morning Herald

Kerith Atkinson, actor

Kerry Walker, actor

Kevin Brophy, poet and author

Kim Scott, author

Lachlan Woods, actor

Liam McIlwain, actor

Lindsay Murdoch, South-East Asia correspondent, Fairfax Media

Lorna Lesley, actor

Maher Mughrabi, foreign editor, The Age

Marcus Strom, science editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Margot Knight, actor

Maria Tumarkin, writer

Marieke Hardy, writer and broadcaster

Mark Isaacs, writer

Mary-Anne Toy, features editor, The Age

Matt O’Sullivan, transport editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Media Institute of Southern Africa

Media Watch Norwegian

Melissa Davey, Melbourne bureau chief, Guardian Australia

Melissa Lucashenko, writer

Michael Bachelard, investigations editor, The Age

Michael Heyward, publisher

Michael Janda, business reporter, ABC

Michael Slezak, environment reporter, Guardian Australia

Michala Banas, actor

Michelle de Kretser, author

Michelle Griffin, acting deputy editor, The Age

Mike Seccombe, national correspondent, The Saturday Paper

Mike Ticher, news editor, Guardian Australia

Miki Perkins, social affairs reporter, The Age

Miranda Tapsell, actor

Mireille Juchau, author

Miska Mandic, film-maker

Monica Main, actor

National Union of Somali Journalists

Neil Chenoweth, senior reporter, Australian Financial Review

Nick Feik, editor, The Monthly

Nick Miller, Europe correspondent, Fairfax Media

Nick Moir, photographer, Sydney Morning Herald

Nick O’Malley, senior writer, Sydney Morning Herald

Norwegian PEN

Oslo Davis, cartoonist

Pacific Freedom Forum

Paddy O’Reilly, writer

Patrick Frost, actor

Paul Farrell, reporter, Guardian Australia

Paul Syvret, assistant editor, The Courier Mail

Pearl Tan, actor

PEN American Center

PEN Melbourne

PEN Sydney

Penny Hueston, editor

Peter Greste, journalist

Peter Hannam, environment editor, Sydney Morning Herald

Peter Ryan, senior business correspondent, ABC

Professor David Robie, Pacific Media Centre

Raimond Gaita, writer and philosopher

Randa Abdel-Fattah, writer

Reg Lynch, cartoonist

Robert Hillman, author

Robert Manne, writer and academic

Robyn Arthur, actor

Rod Emmerson, cartoonist

Rod Mullinar, actor

Rod Quantock, writer and comedian

Roger Patching, journalism educator

Rohan Connolly, senior football writer, The Age

Rory Walker, actor

Royce Millar, investigative reporter, The Age

Sam Gaskin, performer

Sam Wallman, cartoonist

Samah Sabawi, Author and playwright.

Sarah Danckert, business reporter, The Age

Sharon Davis, freelance journalist

Simon Johanson, business journalist, The Age

Simon Letch, illustrator, Sydney Morning Herald

Steph Harmon, culture editor, Guardian Australia

Stephanie Convery, deputy culture editor, Guardian Australia

Stephanie Wood, senior writer, Sydney Morning Herald

Stephen Long, investigative reporter, ABC

Stephen Stockwell, Professor, Griffith University

Stuart Halusz, actor

Tessa Lunney, writer

Toni Jordan, writer

Tony Birch, author and poet

Tony Kevin, writer and ex-diplomat

Tracey Spicer, writer and broadcaster

Vigilance pour la Démocratie et l’État Civique

Wendy Bacon, freelance journalist and academic

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Zev Landes, cartoonist


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MEAA letter to PM Turnbull re: Manus Island detainees

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Last update: February 5, 2017