From the women of Nauru to the women of Australia – thank you!

After thousands of women called on Prime Minister Turnbull to allow Abyan the dignity of choice in her traumatised life, she has now been bought back to Australia.

Abyan has only ever asked for two things: a counselor to support her as she negotiates this difficult path and time to think and physically recover her health. She had been denied both by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton when he spent over $100,000 to fly her back to Nauru last Friday because she wasn’t moving quickly enough for his liking.

Fortunately, the women of Australia heard her cry for help and thousands of men and women demanded her return and took action to protect her right to choose.

To all of those who took up the fight on her behalf Abyan has said “thank you.” 

Abyan told a friend in Australia to let people know she is very grateful, as are the other Somali women on Nauru. They know that they have friends here.

Australian Women in Support of Women on Nauru will continue to seek the truth about the situation for women, children and men on Nauru. We are continuing to apply for visas, book flights and accommodation for Wendy Bacon, Carmen Lawrence and Claire O’Connor S.C.

We do so because while Nauru is a very small and struggling island nation, we believe the people of Nauru wish to live with the same dignity and same principles of freedom of expression, as does nearly every other nation. And one of the most enduring and fundamental principles of civil society and good governance is an open and transparent society. 

The government of Nauru has suggested that wanting to investigate the situation for refugees on the island is somehow racist. We reject that. We believe that far from being racist: everyone, regardless of race or wealth, has the right to live free from violence in every form. Just as Australians want to end violence against women, we believe that Nauruans would want the same outcome. In fact to turn away and say there is no need for investigation, suggest some human beings are of less value than others - in other words less deserving of investigation. That could well be seen as racist.