The Saturday Paper

The power of the human spirit


Mehdi Ali’s account (“Tasting freedom”, April 2-8) of his nine years of crimeless incarcerat­ion by the Australian government, and his reflection­s on it following his expatriati­on to the United States are a moving testament to the power of the human spirit to somehow preserve hope under the most adverse conditions, and to still feel wonder in the natural world once freedom is restored, despite mistreatme­nt. His compassion for his still-imprisoned mates, and even for his guards, is a quality totally missing from the government refugee and asylum seeker policy. Now, suddenly, we hear the prime minister proudly announcing that Ukrainian refugees will be fast-tracked to the front of the queue for admission to this country. Does this man not comprehend the gross hypocrisy of this and other of his decisions? To paraphrase him from another context, “He can go.”

– Jeremy Barrett, Valla Beach, NSW

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