A Kurdish Iranian man on Manus Island has published a book about his “incarceration” which he wrote entirely over Whatsapp on his mobile phone.
It’s not clear from any of the copious words on the Guardian/Fairfax/ABC articles gushing over Boochani why he had to write it over his mobile phone, especially given that the centre has computer word processing facilities for the inhabitants (section 4 here).
That Boochani is a genuine refugee in fear of his life is not disputed; a Kurdish journalist in Iran must have a life expectancy best measured in hours.
What is worth investigating however is the use of language such as “prisoner” in all of the hand-wringing articles and also the route he took to arrive on Manus Island.
As we’ve discussed previously, the inhabitants could claim asylum and leave to remain from PNG. That they don’t, suggests that they are holding out for a bigger prize such as a policy change by a new Australian government, for example.
How did Boochani come to find himself on this little island in the Pacific, such a long way from his home?
This article suggests that he travelled by land and sea to Indonesia, where he paid a people smuggler for passage on a boat to Christmas Island (an Australian territory).
Have a look at the map below and ponder the possible route options;
Assuming he didn’t sail any other huge distances, at a minimum there must have been 7 countries he traversed to arrive on Christmas Island, several of which are considered so safe and pleasant that many people reading this will have fond holiday memories from them.
Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, for example. Sure, it may be a challenge to learn the language but if you were fleeing Iran in fear of your life, asking Thailand to accept you as a refugee, settling down there and making a new life must surely be a pretty good option?
For the sake of balance, it must be stated that many of those countries are not signatories to the 1957 UN resolution on refugees, but then, places such as Iran, Afghanistan and a whole bunch of places you wouldn’t want to visit have signed it so quite what that means, is anyone’s guess.
The left are, as is often the case, guilty of overreach when championing the cases of genuine refugees (and even more so for purely economic migrants) who have crossed half a dozen borders and paid for an expensive sea passage in attempt to gain asylum in the “prestige” destinations such as Australia.
Because, if they were genuinely concerned with providing good outcomes for the majority of refugees, they would be far less interested in the (relatively) rich migrants who chose not to stop in the first safe country they arrived in but, instead, put themselves and others (such as the seamen sent to rescue them) at risk by attempting dangerous sea crossings to win the jackpot in a country with generous public housing, welfare benefits and healthcare.
The result of this is counter to their claimed desires; people are sceptical of the motivation of those hand-wringing and campaigning for man with enough resources to travel across 7+ countries and then pay between $2,000 and $10,000 for a boat journey, whilst Whatsapping on an iPhone. This scepticism naturally then contaminates their opinions when asked by the same organisations to agree to take in more refugees from camps by the borders of the countries they are fleeing.