The Messenger

25 EpisodesProduced by The Wheeler Centre

Since March 2016, Aziz has been reporting from Manus in short 30 second bursts, via WhatsApp messages sent from a smuggled phone. On the day his correspondence kicks off with Michael, he’s already been in detention for 864 days. Aziz tells the inside story – the good and the bad – of a place that c… read more

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#11 We Lived as a Nation

February 7th, 2019



The men demonstrate their improvised well — Photo: Michael Green

‘Twenty four days we lived as a nation … The only way I can describe [it] is …

What I Can See Right Now

December 18th, 2017


It's raining on Michael's last afternoon on Manus Island, and Aziz drops by to catch up. They discuss where things are at with Aziz and the other men, and what he expects will happen next. Then, it's time to say …

I'm Not Really Settled Right Now

November 29th, 2017


‘I’m safe and I’m alive.’

Abdul Aziz Muhamat

An eventful week has passed. After PNG immigration officials and police entered the decommissioned …

We Are Looking After Each Other

November 21st, 2017


Rain comes. In his voice messages, Aziz sounds unwell – but speaks at length about how, in spite of their living conditions, the men finally feel …

It's Been 17 Days

November 17th, 2017


Seventeen days into the stand-off with authorities, Aziz tells Michael about how men in the detention centre are dealing with the lack of water after tanks and wells were destroyed – as well as the men's medical needs, …

We Are Just Living on a Daily Basis

November 15th, 2017


Aziz reports that Papua New Guinean immigration officials have been entering the detention centre to destroy tanks and wells. Meanwhile, the men remaining in the camp have tried to avoid provocation and confrontation. …

Everything That We Have Built

November 11th, 2017


Hundreds of men remain in the decommissioned detention centre – refusing to be relocated to camps which many (including the UN's refugee agency) have said are unfinished or unsafe. Papua New Guinean immigration officers …

There is a Reason

November 7th, 2017


After Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court rejects an appeal to restore power, water and food to the decommissioned detention centre, Aziz says the men never held much hope for a positive outcome in the first place. When …

We Are Hoping to Find a Way to Communicate

November 4th, 2017


As the detainees' isolation intensifies, Aziz tells Michael about the burden of his responsibilities – and his hope of some negotiation to end the …

We Wait for the Day to Make a Plan for Us

November 3rd, 2017


Three days after the official closure of the detention centre, several hundred detainees remain barricaded inside the gates without water, power or food supplied. Aziz describes the scene, and explains some of the ways …

We Are Just Ready

October 30th, 2017


Mere hours from Australia's deadline to close Manus Island's immigration detention centre, tensions are running high amongst detainees. Why does Aziz seem calm?

'I feel like in 24 hours I will know something exactly, …

We Never Had Any Storm Like This

October 27th, 2017


The security guards and other staff are leaving the detention centre. Aziz explains how the detainees are preparing for life without power.

Damaged by rough weather, a tree has fallen across the perimeter fencing of …

Position is Clear

October 24th, 2017


Abdul Aziz Muhamat — Photo: Michael Green

As the days count down to the end of October – when Australia has promised to close the detention …

Hello Hello

October 21st, 2017


With just ten days left before Australia closes the detention centre on Manus Island, Aziz leaves a few short voice messages, explaining how he is …

#10 It Runs In My Blood

September 28th, 2017


Aziz — Photo: Michael Green

'This place has become part of me. It runs in my blood.'

Abdul Aziz Muhamat

After seven long months in Port Moresby …

#9 Freedom Is Not Free

September 22nd, 2017


Abdul Aziz Muhamat and Michael Green on Manus Island — (Photo: Behrouz Boochani)

'Freedom is not free. You have to pay for it. And we pay; now …

#8 Kind of a Dream

July 7th, 2017


Behrouz and Aziz at Hauwei Island — (Photo: Michael Green)

'I’m excited because … for almost three years I haven’t left the centre, and I was just locked inside there … Now, I’m walking on the streets – every two …

#7 A Small Village

May 10th, 2017


‘I have got energy, so … why can’t I just keep in touch with the outside world?’


Photo: Michael Green

Even though Aziz is in detention, far away from both his home and from the country whose government is …

#6 A New Plan

April 10th, 2017


‘I'm just pretending … as if I'm preparing for a space journey, and the space journey, it takes many years.’


After months of interviews, Aziz finally sits facing an immigration officer and an interpreter, about …

#5 A Safer Place

March 13th, 2017


Stopping the boats. It's one of the most fraught topics in Australian politics, and most of the time it comes out in two soundbites: saving lives at …

#4 Today I'm Really Smiling

February 23rd, 2017


A major ruling by the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court offers hope for Aziz – but, amidst the promise, the men receive devastating news from Nauru. …

#3 I Have Got Some People Waiting For Me

February 9th, 2017


Aziz’s life has been a story of chance – and choice. As Michael pieces together Aziz’s journey from Sudan to Manus, he realises Aziz has been searching for a safe place for about eight years. So what gives him the …

#2 I Need to Format My Memory

February 2nd, 2017


As the world reacts to the Trump administration’s new US border policies, Aziz’s situation is as uncertain as ever, with no end in sight. Life on …

#1 Aziz, Not a Boat Number

January 23rd, 2017


As a journalist, Michael Green had spoken to a lot of people who’ve been held in detention centres. Some were there for a few weeks, and others for as long as six years.

But he’d never spoken to someone who was still …

#0 Welcome

January 19th, 2017


Welcome to The Messenger

The series begins from Monday 23 January 2017 – but you can subscribe to the feed now in iTunes or your favourite podcast app. Sign up to the Wheeler Weekly for updates via email.

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