Iranian refugee wins cartooning award

Have you heard the story of a detainee in Papua New Guinea who has won cartooning award?
Ali, an Iranian refugee held at Papua New Guinea Manus Island detention centre, and whose pen name is Eaten Fish, drew cartoons to depict life inside the camp. Ali struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and debilitating panic attacks and he has been held there for 3 years now.

A cartoon by Ali, an Iranian refugee held at Papua New Guinea's Manus Island detention centre whose pen name is Eaten Fish, is seen in this image supplied to Reuters on August 27, 2016.     Eaten Fish/Handout via REUTERS

According to Reuters;

”Under Australia’s hardline immigration policy, anyone intercepted trying to reach the country by boat is sent for processing to camps on Manus or Nauru in the South Pacific. They are not eligible to be resettled in Australia.

A cartoon by Ali, an Iranian refugee held at Papua New Guinea's Manus Island detention centre whose pen name is Eaten Fish, is seen in this image supplied to Reuters on August 27, 2016.   Eaten Fish/Handout via REUTERS

Cartoonists Rights Network International (CRNI) said Ali was recognized for his courage in documenting life under Australia’s offshore detention program – which drew thousands of protesters onto streets across the country on Saturday calling for its closure.

“Eaten Fish has been able to keep up a stream of cartoons documenting the unspeakable abuses and excesses of the guards and administrators of the camp,” Joel Pett, president of CRNI’s board of directors, said in a statement on Friday.

“For this he has been the subject of beatings, deprivation of food, and even worse degrading treatment by the guards.”

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection denied the claims made by CRNI and defended the care provided at the facility.

“The department currently has no evidence that any of these allegations are true,” a spokesman said in an email to Reuters.

Australia and Papua New Guinea said earlier this month the Manus center would be shut but they gave no date for the closure, leaving the fate of about 800 refugees unclear.”

(Reporting by Harry Pearl; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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