Eaten Fish receives Voltaire Award

Each year Liberty Victoria give the Voltaire Empty Chair Award to an outstanding contributor to free speech who is unable to accept it in person. This year it is Eaten Fish  “the prize-winning cartoonist and Iranian asylum seeker held on Manus Island for almost four years.  His pen name evokes lives relentlessly consumed, expended, chewed up and spat out in the service of Australia’s cruel policy of ‘deterrence’.”

Read more about it here.

 

How can you help Eaten Fish

Eaten Fish has been on a hunger strike since January 31.

There is an online petition here you can sign.

Let your local MP and/or Senator know what you think. Write, email, phone get a group of friends and relations and head down to their electorate office and let them know Eaten Fish needs to come to Australia urgently for medical treatment.

Cartoonists are drawing a fish for Eaten Fish and posting them on Twitter. Here is one example…

Also this from CRNI.

Here is an excellent zine from many artists that Jini Maxwell put together. It is a pdf..

Will add more things to this list as they come along. Thanks so much to everyone who has expressed concern for Eaten Fish and offered to do something, anything.

Statement regarding Eaten Fish

MEDIA RELEASE   

5th February 2017

Failure to transfer Eaten Fish to Australia will lead to another death on Manus Island

Eaten Fish has been on a hunger strike for 6 days now and weighs 48 kilos.  It has been well documented in the press that Eaten Fish suffers from debilitating mental health issues. He has also been the victim of sexual assault, chronic sexual harassment and abuse within Australia’s immigration prison camp on Manus Island for the past 3 and a half years.

Due to his extremely fragile mental health and ongoing sexual harassment, Eaten fish has been held in the Special Supported Accommodation compound [also referred to as VSRA] for the past 8 months.

In a document from PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority dated 29th of January 2017, it is stated that ABF have spoken to Eaten Fish and told him that his allegations of sexual assault and abuse have not been substantiated and that he will be returned to the compound and that PNG ICSA. Worryingly it also states that they will not negotiate with Eaten Fish on any grounds.  It is this that has forced Mr Fish’s actions.

In an urgent letter to Australian Border Force Chief Medical Officer Dr John Brayley dated 2nd February 2017, Dr Sue Ditchfield writes: ‘Bizarelly he [Eaten Fish] was expected to prove the assaults to the satisfaction of PNG authorities.  He was unwilling to identify his assailants because of his fear of retribution and of course any assaults take place well away from the compound guards’.  Further the authorities Eaten Fish was to expected to prove the assaults to were the same authorities who had assaulted him late in 2016.

In a letter to CMO Brayley Janet Galbraith writes: ‘ At the beginning of the hunger strike he [Eaten Fish] only weighed 53 kilos and he has already lost a substantial amount of weight. He reports to me today that he is shaky, weak, has a lot of body pain, no longer feels hunger, is losing his memory and his heart is beating fast.  He says he can no longer shower.’

‘I cannot suffer anymore.  I know now that I will have to die because I cannot suffer anymore’, Mr Fish told Ms Galbraith.

When asked by authorities within the prison camp what he wished to accomplish through his hunger strike Mr Fish said: ‘Something happens with hunger strike and I think you know what that is.  I will die and this will all finish’.

Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) write: ‘It is with profound alarm and sadness that [we] learn that our friend and colleague, cartoonist Mr. Eaten Fish, currently held in an Australian refugee rendition camp in Papua New Guinea has decided to undertake a hunger strike… He is a man who has given up hope, cannot struggle any longer, cannot face the future that is being forced on him, and he would rather die than submit to the indignities of further inhuman treatment.’

The Australian government has been petitioned many times both from within Australia and internationally asking that Eaten Fish be brought to Australia for medical treatment.

Dr Ditchfield says, ‘I urge you to be pro-active in transferring this critically ill young man to Australia.  I have no doubt that failure to do this will lead to yet another death of an Asylum Seeker on Manus Island’.

Contact Janet Galbraith

galbraithjanet3@gmail.com