The message from these immigrants at the detention centre on Christmas Island is clear.
SYDNEY: A parliamentary inquiry into Australian detention centres on Friday recommended a 90-day limit on the time asylum-seekers are held at often remote facilities.
Rights groups have long criticised Australia's policy of mandatory detention for boat-people, under which many are held for years in isolated centres which have been beset by unrest.
Though they come in relatively small numbers by global standards, the issue of asylum-seekers is a political hot potato in Australia that dominated national elections in 2010 due to a record number of boat arrivals from Asia.
The 379-page report presented to the government by a joint select committee said the overwhelming evidence indicated prolonged detention took a heavy toll on people, particularly their mental health.
"The committee's fundamental conclusion is that asylum-seekers should reside in held detention for as little time as is practicable," it said.
"While academics and psychologists tell us that mental health begins to erode after three months in detention, there are people with adverse security assessments in Australia's immigration system who have been detained for well over two years."
The committee also criticised the regular use of remote facilities, saying asylum-seekers should be accommodated in metropolitan areas wherever possible.
"This will not only better serve the needs of detainees, but save on some of the vast expense required to run large-scale facilities in extremely remote locations," it said.
Last month, Amnesty International called for the complete closure of Australia's remote centres where it said suicide and self-harm were a fact of life.
Amnesty said Canberra should limit the locking up of asylum-seekers arriving by boat to 30 days and expedite the release of those already in detention, particularly minors and those with families.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government would take the report on board.
"We want to see fewer people in detention, and we believe they should remain there for as little time as possible," he said in a statement.
Bowen added that the government had expanded the use of community detention and introduced temporary visas for boat arrivals to allow people to reside in the community while their asylum claims were assessed.