Hollywood star and animal activist Pamela Anderson has taken the extraordinary move of writing to Australia’s Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, to demand an inquiry into alleged animal cruelty on Manus Island.
The spokeswoman People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wrote to Mr Dutton to highlight the treatment of a dog belonging to a Manus asylum seeker, Foxy, who was allegedly thrown from a moving bus by a guard while detainees were moved from the island’s main detention facility to alternative accommodation in November.
“Animals feel pain, stress, and fear just as we do, and such callous abuse is unacceptable and threatens everyone in your care on Manus,” the former Baywatch star wrote in a letter emailed to Mr Dutton.
“Foxy’s primary caregiver is understandably distraught by the guard’s actions. Displaced people often form close bonds with animals, who provide unconditional love and hope,” Anderson said.
“May I hear from you soon that you’ll launch an investigation into this incident and give Foxy and her guardians the justice they deserve?”
A spokeswoman for Mr Dutton told The New Daily the Minister had no comment, and referred TND to PNG authorities.
Three hundred asylum seekers were moved from the main detention facility on Manus in late November after a tense three-week stand-off which saw most of the men refusing to leave for new accommodation facilities elsewhere on the island.
The men refused to be rehoused because they feared they were unsafe and lacked proper health services in the new facilities.
The men were finally moved to the new facilities by Papua New Guinea police and immigration officers bearing metal batons.
Anderson said she held “grave concerns” about the “appalling” treatment the asylum seekers and their pets were receiving while being detained by Australia on Manus.
“The prolonged detainment of these people is appalling, but recent reporting from the camps indicates a new level of violence and suffering,” the actress said.
Anderson, who starred alongside David Hasselhoff in the hit TV show Baywatch in the 1990s, has long been a supporter of PETA.
— Bevan Shields (@BevanShields) December 17, 2017
But Manus Island asylum seekers felt Anderson had missed the mark somewhat.
Pamela Anderson @pamfoundation Thanks for your concern about the dogs, please read this article about how the Australian govt is treating people too, you can not love the dogs without loving people https://t.co/OhoZkRKhBE
— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) December 18, 2017
She famously stripped off for the group 20 years ago to help its campaign against clothing made from animal fur.
More recently she also lent her support to the Australian founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, who has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012.
Mr Assange is seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning over sexually assault allegations.
He has remained in the embassy despite Swedish authorities dropping their inquiries.
“I love Julian. He’s one of the most interesting people I have ever met,” Anderson told a UK TV show in September.