Ali Turi


by Ali Turi

I left home in Feb 2013 and said good bye to Mum. She was staring at me but didn’t say anything because she was desperate. But she knew she might not be able to see me again, so risky was the journey I planned. Yet she didn’t want me to stay with her – it was too perilous.

To cut the story short – I arrived in Indonesia and (from the lock-up where local police threw me) called my mother. I could not tell her about the dreadful hours and days there, or my journey alone from the danger my life was in Pak to Indonesia.

Son: Hello Mum. How’s everyone? I reached Indonesia safe and sound.

Mum: Oh, it’s you son, thanks God.

Everyone was shouting, ‘’We’re all good. How are you doing? Who else is with you? Are you alone? Be careful! Don’t go outside! Look after yourself!’’

Son: I am well, don’t worry Mum. I’m with friends and we will all go together.

Mum: Look out! don’t go outside without your friends. Sisters want to talk to you.

Son: Okay, Mum.

Sis: Hello, how’s it going?

Bro: I’m very good how about you all?

Sis: Well, we’re fine too, but since you left – Mum always goes to your room and unfolds your clothes, then hangs them up again, and cries all the time.

I was dying inside.

Sis: Are you hearing me?

Bro: Oh, yes. Please put all my clothes away from her and try to persuade her to have hope. I’ll send for her, and she will stay with me forever, once I get to Australia.

Mum: Why are you saying this to him? Give me the receiver and I’ll talk to him! Your sister is lying,

Son. Don’t listen her. I’m very happy and I don’t cry. Just take care of yourself, and let me know when you’re heading to Australia.

Son: Of course, Mum, but please don’t worry about me. I am fine here, and I’m with these lovely friends. If you miss me too much, I’ll come back.

Mum: No, no. Hahaha. See? I’m laughing. I’m healthy. Please don’t think too much of us here. I believe once you get to Australia you’ll bring me there. Then I’ll be with you.

Son: May it happen soon, Mum – because I’m concerned about you all.

Mum: Are you crazy? We’re all family members here except you. If you think too much, how will you survive? You’re alone, so watch yourself and don’t worry about us.

Son: Okay. Say hello to everyone. Will call you when we get on the boat.

Mum: I will, but take care of yourself.

Son: love you mum, bye.

Mum: bye

I was released from prison and got on a boat, but didn’t tell anybody except elder brothers.

Bro: Hello, how are things going?

Me: hi, everything is fine. It’s 2 in the morning and we’re getting on a boat. The signals might not work after half an hour, so I was wondering . . . just to let you both know.

Bro: I don’t like this. If you’LL take your brother’s advice – please turn back.

Me: Hahahaha.

I was laughing just to assure them that I was okay. I knew it could be my last call to them, so I wanted to give them a smile.

Bro: You didn’t listen us and don’t care about us and the family.

Me: Come on bro, don’t worry. Have faith in God. He gives us life and death, so just pray that I’ll turn up safely. God willing.

Bro: Well, God be with you. Bye.

Me: I will call you when we get to Christmas Island. Bye.

It took four days to reach Christmas Island. There, we were caught by ABF and they stopped our boat for 3 or 4 days. Then we were moved to the Christmas Island detention centre. I couldn’t find a way to call my family, because I was locked up in white block where they kept people for departing Manus Island and Nauru. We stayed there for a night then departed to Manus.

I phoned my family.

Son: Hello Mum. I got to Australia.

Mum (crying): Thanks God! You didn’t even tell me you were getting on a boat! How are you feeling?

Son: Oh! Mum, I’m very excited because these people welcomed us unbelievably.

(I did not tell her that they kept us in the middle of ocean for 3 days, then put us into detention for another day, and that now I was looking onto green fences, in the extremely humid air of the island.)

Mum: what do you do for sleeping and eating ?

Son: I will tell everything later – but now I have only five minutes, just to say Hi. I’m going to call my brothers, so need to save two minutes for them. Then I will call you back. (Indeed, I wanted to listen to her voice longer.)

Mum: Okay, okay. Don’t be late to call me back. Take care! Eat well and sleep well. Bye.

Son: Love you mum – Bye.

Me: Hello, Bro. It’s me. I got to Christmas Island.

Bro: Oh my God! Thanks God, you’re alive! I almost had heart attack. Because you didn’t contact us for 10 days, so we thought you had already died and we were waiting for your coffin.

Me: I’m alive and safe, so don’t worry. I don’t have enough time to tell the story. Will call you back once I settle. Right now very busy. (Actually, we were given just five minutes to make our calls, and were not allowed to take extra time on the phone.)

Bro: Okay. Look after yourself. Ddon’t worry about us. Bye.

Life in Manus prison is atrocious,bloodthirsty and horrible

Can’t write anymore now . Feeling devastated..😔😣

Only mothers know when someone keeps their sons away from them ..

might continue in due time..

Miss you Mum😔

– Ali Turi (Manus)