'I'm with you in spirit, in the sharing of hope, in deploring the injustice of Manus Island refugees incarceration, but not in flesh.'
This was the message to the 700 refugees still incarcerated on Nauru and Manus Island from those who attended Amnesty Margaret River's World Refugee Day event at the HEART last week.
After sampling an Manus Island mini meal, a strong and engaged crowd watched and listened to Manus Island Refugee and Award Winning Author Behrouz Boochani - via a virtual hook up - document the extraordinary struggle of Manus Island refugees to deal with the horror of six years of detention.
Amnesty Convenor, Rod Whittle was deeply moved by the evening.
"It was a slightly surreal and very sad experience," Mr Whittle said.
"We could see Behrouz's face on the screen and hear his voice as he connected with us from Manus Island.
"The tendency of the transmission to drop out from time to time was like a metaphor for Behrouz's actual situation a desperate man whose vice is heard and the lost - as if blown away, silenced, distorted through the blind and incessant pressure of government policy".
Despite the technical difficulties, Behrouz's message was profound and moving.
Interviewer, historian and former ABC broadcaster Bill Bunbury's sensitive and professional interviewing helped Behrouz bring the audience to a place of powerful contemplation.
The Amnesty Margaret River group is currently collecting signatures for their petition to the Federal Government pleading that the refugees on Manus and Nauru are set free and writing letters to Federal Members of Parliament imploring that the Medivac Bill is not abandoned.
To keep up with the group's work, visit www.facebook.com/amnestymargaretriver
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