Habib Habiburahman is a Rohingan man who fled Burma some years ago. Detained in Malaysia then at the Northern Immigration Centre in Darwin for nearly two years, Habib is a former democracy activist whose people, the ethnic Rohinga, are not recognised by the Burmese government despite living there for centuries.
This cartoon depicts the key players in Australia’s asylum seeker system. Julia Gillard presides as the umpire in a table tennis match between the Department of Immigration and ASIO. The Law Society, Amnesty International, Human Rights Commission, the Refugee Council of Australia and the Ombudsman stand by either blindfolded or gagged — in other words, powerless figureheads.
The refugees are wearing uniforms with acronyms such as VOD, "Victim of Discrimination", or VOB, "Victim of political ball-throwing". The UNHCR is depicted as running away. Serco guards in the bottom right corner have BSD on their uniforms, "Bringing Service to Detention". The Australian Federal Police are shown with guns and handcuffs.
This image is part of the annual Rights on Show exhibition in Darwin.
Donate To New Matilda
New Matilda is a small, independent media outlet. We survive through reader contributions, and never losing a lawsuit. If you got something from this article, giving something back helps us to continue speaking truth to power. Every little bit counts.