Thousands of people marched in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday asking the government to bring all asylum seekers held on Nauru to Australia, particularly the children.
In Sydney, rock star Jimmy Barnes said people were held in detention “with no hope, no future, nothing to live for, nothing to strive for, and nothing to dream about, it’s criminal.”
The health of asylum seekers the government sent to Nauru and Manus Island off Papua New Guinea shot to prominence in the past week.
It thereby put Prime Minister Scott Morrison under pressure to resolve the plight of asylum seekers who tried to reach Australia by boat.
A refugee calling from Manus Island told a rally in Melbourne he underwent five years of suffering and helplessness.
Reports have shocked many Australians that children held on Nauru are suffering from mental problems and the adults held for over five years are losing all hope and succumbing to what is called resignation syndrome.
Three government MPs and several independents called on Morrison to show humanity and allow the children and their families to come to Australia.
New Zealand has offered to take 150 asylum seekers from Nauru every 12 months, but this has not been accepted by Morrison who says they may later try to enter Australia with New Zealand passports.
Another 52 children are still among 652 asylum seekers held on Nauru.
Approximately 730 men are held on Manus Island, while the U.S. has taken 435 Nauru and Manus refugees under a deal reached with former U.S. president Barack Obama.