Statement regarding Eaten Fish


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

Some more cartoons for Eaten Fish

CRNI has been overwhelmed by the support for Eaten Fish from cartoonists all over the world – here is another batch of the cartoons that people have produced.

Today Eaten Fish should be in North Carolina accepting the 2016 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award from CRNI but he is still locked up in Manus Island detention camp in Papua New Guinea.


More Cartoons for Eaten Fish

Eaten Fish is being awarded the the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award by the Cartoonists Rights Network International on September 24. There is a fancy dinner and an award ceremony in North Carolina which he cannot attend as he remains detained on Manus Island. A new group of cartoonists have drawn cartoons in support of Eaten Fish including last years award recipient Atena Farghadani who was imprisoned in Iran until May this year.


Eaten Fish wins 2016 Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award

Eaten Fish has won the  2016 Award for Courage in Editorial Cartooning from Cartoonists Rights Network International. You can read about it on their website here. A statement from Eaten Fish will be added here as soon as we get one.

The award will be presented at the annual convention of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists in Durham, North Carolina on September 24, 2016. Eaten Fish won’t be there.

Another Update – this time a story in the Washington Post.

Here is a Guardian story about it too.

Update – Here is a story from Radio NZ as well.

Cartoonists Rights Network International is an organisation that supports cartoonists around the world who are endangered by the very nature of their work. They work as advocates to advance the freedom and human rights of political cartoonists as well as networking, providing resources for their their safety, local development and education.

Previous winners have included Dogan Güzel who was just recently arrested in Turkey.

Congratulations Eaten Fish.


Mahmoud Salameh

Mahmoud Salameh is a Palestinian-Australian cartoonist, animation filmmaker and graphic artist based in Sydney. Mahmoud has years of international experience working as a professional artist in Syria, Lebanon and Australia as well as working for well-known Arabic newspapers and magazines such as Al Safir and Al Adaab. Mahmoud is a Palestinian refugee from Syria who was in Australian detention centres for 17 months.


Save Eaten Fish

 [Update] Mr Eaten Fish says thank you with this cartoon.
Eaten Fish is a cartoonist named Ali, a 24 year old Iranian artist who has been held in Australia’s immigration detention centre for 3 years now. 18 months ago First Dog on the Moon began mentoring Eaten Fish and they have since kept regular contact.  
Throughout the three years that Eaten Fish has been incarcerated on Manus Island he has suffered from ever worsening and extreme OCD, panic attacks – that can leave him literally paralysed, and Complex PTSD.  Earlier this year Eaten Fish was seriously assaulted.  Since this assault he has continued to endure ongoing sexual harassment from guards, staff and some other detainees.  This compounds the effects of the assault and his serious mental health conditions. 
Eaten Fish is now und
er 24 hour watch and remains in the isolation area, Green Zone, of the detention camp. He continues to be propositioned and sexually harassed and his state continues to deteriorate. Eaten Fish needs to be brought to a safe place where he can receive the  specialised treatment for the serious conditions he suffers from.
We are launching this website as part of a campaign urging the Australian government to immediately remove Eaten Fish from the Manus Island detention centre and bring him to Australia for the specialised treatment he requires.
You can read more about Eaten Fish go here to the RAPBS campaign and in the Guardian here. A gallery of his cartoons is here as well.
A number of LEGENDARY Australian cartoonists are drawing cartoons in support of the campaign to get Ali off Manus and into proper treatment including this one by Firstdog Onthemoon.
As the cartoons are drawn, they will appear here. You can see them below. Are you a cartoonist? Would you like to support this campaign? Contact us on twitter @firstdogonmoon or firstdogonthemoon at hotmail dot com.
Cartoon by Eaten Fish