Statement from ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
The Australian Council of Trade Unions calls on the Australian Government to immediately evacuate people seeking asylum on Manus Island, to end the appalling humanitarian crisis.
The current situation on Manus Island where 600 men are being held without food, water or electricity is disgusting and was foreseeable and preventable.
The men detained there, without charge, have endured enough illness, injury and incarceration.
Australia can, and must, act immediately to prevent more harm being inflicted on these poor, innocent souls.
The conditions the men are in, created by the Australian government, are filthy and dangerous, and are likely to result in further death, according to first hand reports released today.
The crisis has been rightly condemned around the world, and has brought deep and abiding shame on Australia’s reputation.
Enough is enough. End their suffering. Evacuate these men now.
These men are people like us. They deserve to be working people. They are engineers, journalists, artists and former United Nations’ workers. They are fathers, uncles, brothers and sons.
We have taken their dreams of a better life, and replaced them with an unrelenting nightmare.
They deserve to live in freedom. They do not deserve to die in a remote camp, nor continue being tortured.
The entire catastrophe demonstrates that we have a coward for a Prime Minister who is only interested in his own political survival. He is responsible. He needs to act.
The ACTU joins the millions of disgusted and appalled Australians who stand with the men on Manus, and the families on Nauru.
Evacuate them now.