Deathscapes

Alan Kurdi - Behnam Satah letter - parallax 2

Deathscapes

A letter to Alan Kurdi

Asylum-seekers, in detention centres in other parts of the world, under the jurisdiction of the Australian government in particular, have also expressed their sadness at Alan’s death. These responses underscore the double standards of many governments that are embedded in the official statistics, and political rhetoric about the ‘rise’ and ‘fall’ of refugees entering the EU.

Below are selections from a letter written by Behnam Satah, detained on Manus Island, from the perspective of Reza Barati who witnessed Satah being beaten to death on the island.

“I wish I would had died in ocean, too. Welcome dear Aylan, my name is Reza Berati, I am also a Kurd. Don’t be scared baby we are not alone, Hamid Khazaei is also here. We were asylum seekers as well but there is a difference, we survived to shore and then we died but you couldn’t. At least you suffered less. I know that the only thing you heard in your life was bombs and guns noises all the time, and your ears were full of these harsh noises. You tried to learn to walk and escape from all this. You learnt walking and tried to flee but…?! Was it our fate or policy. Actually I don’t know??!! Mr. Dutton has said yesterday it is a lawful policy?! Was it lawful for me? Can you put yourself in my shoes Mr. Minister?? Do you see it lawful if you were me?? Dear Aylan I survived in ocean, I forced to go to Manus and I asked for freedom after 6 months and I got killed. Believe me drowning in ocean is far far better than suffering and dying gradually. It’s OK baby Aylan, it’s OK. Maybe the ocean wanted to tell you there is no one expecting you on shore…”


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All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

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