Diary from a war zone

The situation in Manus is getting worse. Last night the refugees were in a dark place. People were lying down on the floor and were struggling with serious hunger, having not eaten since Tuesday.

At the same time they were struggling with tropical mosquitoes. Until recently the mosquitoes have been controlled with fumigation, but that has been stopped too. Now, malaria is a new worry to add to the many other risks the refugees face. Anyone who has been in tropical areas knows how hard it is to endure this kind of condition. Heat, humidity, hunger and incessant mosquitoes are taking their toll.

Some of the refugees were working so hard overnight to find water by digging holes in the ground in Oscar compound. They were digging for hours and finally found water. I don't know if this water is clean enough to drink or not, but the refugees are drinking from it. During the night, as some refugees dug for water, others were keeping watch to protect the prison camp in case of attack.

Most of the people could not sleep well and stayed awake until morning. A Rohingya refugee with epilepsy became temporarily unconscious. He has pain in his stomach too. It is impossible to clean with no running water and the conditions have become unsanitary.

Some of the refugees are coming down with infections. One man has an infection in his eyes and another has an infection on his leg. Also, early in the morning yesterday, a refugee with a serious mental illness harmed himself by cutting his wrist and chest. Some of the refugees have been taking medications for mental illness for a long time and need proper medical treatment. We are asking international organisations like Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders to take action and help us.

This is not a hunger strike. It is a situation that the Australian government has created, forcing people into starvation and these harsh conditions by refusing to offer a safe place for resettlement. It is simply unacceptable to try to force 600 men to relocate into a small town where we are not safe and many refugees have been seriously attacked.

This place is like a war zone. We have become refugees for a second time inside this hell hole, abandoned and left to fend for ourselves as best we can. We are asking people around the world to hear our voice. We are forgotten people who have been under torture in an Australian prison camp for nearly five years, even though we have committed no crime. The Australian government is now wilfully forcing us into even more danger.

Behrouz Boochani is an Iranian journalist detained on Manus Island. This account was published on his Facebook page on 2 November.