On the 17th February 2015 - the one year anniversary of Reza Berati's death - the men on Manus Island penned the following letter, asking that it be circulated widely:
Hello dear Reza,
how are you?
Are you in a good place?
Everyone is here and they are saying hi to you.
I’m sure you remember Mustafa! He is saying to you, “let’s play cards!”
Ali is saying, “do you remember you would always get 6-6 whenever we played backgammon?”
Hussain is saying, “do you remember whenever we played soccer, you would always be the goal keeper because you were tall?”
Behrouz is saying,”my mother goes to your mother every day and they cry together”. Hassan is saying, ” forgive me, when you departed, there was a bit of displeasure between us”.
Reza! Do you know anything about Hamid Khazaei?
Are you together?
Please say hi to him and say to him that we miss him.
Reza! It was hard to believe you had departed, we can’t believe it now either.
We would never think that they would kill the strong stocky Reza Barati, unjustly under stroke with their hand. Reza, no court of law has been established for you yet!
Your murderers and their masters are walking freely and they are showing off, blocking the way which your blood is beside it.
Reza I don’t know if you know what they have done to us in this year that you weren’t here. It’s been really hard. Reza, they shed the blood of those like you and Hamid Khazaei in the name of human rights and they did not even care.
Do you know what Scott Morrison said after your death? He said ” the way to stop these deaths is to stop the boats”. It is shameful.
Reza, they are more ruthless that the dictators of our own countries. They kill people at once there but here, they kill slowly and by torture. They killed Hamid ruthlessly as well, maybe he’s told you himself or maybe his pride hasn’t let him to tell you that, how they did treat him ruthlessly. He died slowly slowly in front of our eyes in less than a week.
Reza, this is end of the world, no one helps us. They completed their racist confrontation by killing you and Hamid to show how mean they are.
But you don’t know that great people amongst them in Australia honoured you after your death. We can remember in Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and many other places. Thousands of people shed tears for you and they condemned their government and that is your actual court. You don’t know but thousands of kind people lit candles for you and sit in streets. They showed humanity has not died yet and the account of Australian people is separate from their racist government.
Today, we are hopeful in the aid of these people with their great souls to achieve our freedom.
You are closer to God there, so pray to God that we will be freed from this prison very soon. Reza, I know freedom was nothing more than a dream for you and Hamid, an unachievable dream that you did not achieve here but now you are completely free, so rest in peace!
Dear Reza, I don’t want to keep you busy for a long time, but you will be in our hearts and souls forever. If the tree of our freedom gives fruit, we will not forget the blood of you and Hamid by it.
We love you both!