Contributed by Ben Wilson
It is a great thing that refuge at Manus Island and talented cartoonist Ali Dorani has been offered refuge in Northern Europe.
Dorani was best known at Eaten Fish, and his cartoons over more than four years in detention, did a lot to alert the world to the plight of those locked up in this hellhole, which is best described as a prison camp. He by chronicled his life, depicting life under detention and watching his friend Faysal Ishak Ahmed die.
Eaten Fish received wide spread acclamation for his work and was published around the world. Cartoonists Rights Network International awarded him its Courage in Editorial Cartooning award in 2016.
An international network of cartoonists and artists gave gave support to the quest to “Free Eaten Fish”.
Ali Dorani took the moniker, after being rescued from the ocean, when he first arrived in an unseaworthy boat.
During his detention he suffered physically and fell into the grips of serious depression. This experience brought great power to his cartoons.
He was eventually freed through the efforts of the International Cities of Refuge Network, which offers long-terms residencies for writers and artists facing persecution because of their work. Victorian poet and refugee advocate Janet Galbraith, played an important role in this.
Ali Doran left Papua New Guinea last week. His simple message is “I am thinking about my friends in Manus Island and Port Moresby. Thank you to my supporters and people who worked to make this journey happen”.
There are many of us who would like to thank him for what he has given us and wish him well for the future.
We all know that although Ali is now free, there are many others who remain prisoners and victims of a government who carries out this atrocity in our name. Activists working to bring an end to it, will not rest until this has been finally achieved.