Jim Macken, an 88 year old retired judge from Australia has offered to swap places with an asylum seeker in one of Australia’s detention camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Living conditions in the camps are appalling, as documented by Amnesty International:
When explaining why he was making this offer, Macken explained: “I understand this is an unusual request but I offer it in complete sincerity. My reason for making this proposal is simple. I can no longer remain silent as innocent men, women and children are being held in appalling circumstances on Manus Island and Nauru.
“It is even worse that they are being held in these dangerous and inhospitable conditions in order to ensure no other asylum seekers and refugees attempt to come to Australia for protection. The Australian government is essentially treating refugees in these camps as human shields and this is utterly immoral. As this is being done in my name I cannot remain silent.
“I offer this proposal as a way forward for at least one refugee. This would allow one person currently held on Manus Island or Nauru the right to be an Australian citizen. I would consider it a privilege to live out my final years in either Nauru or Manus Island in his or her stead.”