The families were moved to Semarang Immigration Detention Centre on the other side of Java on 28 July 2017. Conditions are tougher there: they were not allowed phone tablets, so the ones we gave them were taken away and only recently returned; the cell is much smaller and not as clean, and they were all confined together until recently when Mrs Phuc and her 3 children were moved downstairs; they are locked in all day and not allowed out to go to the bathroom at night; there is a camera inside the cell and they are constantly being monitored by officers. While they are provided with basic meals, if they want something extra, such as fruit, they have to give money to the guards to buy it for them.
Although they were initially told by Indonesian immigration that they would be moved to an IOM community housing complex with other refugees in Tangerang near Jakarta, they were subsequently informed that they needed to wait until they were fluent enough in Indonesian to live independently. Meanwhile they attend Indonesian language classes and also try to learn a little English — not easy for parents who left school after Grade 2! Hopefully life will soon be easier for them there and they will be able to enjoy more freedom, coming and going as they please, shopping and cooking for themselves. The children might even be able to recommence their education. Please contact us if you think you may be able to help them in any way. All ideas welcome.