Stuck in the System

Two years after he walked free from Sydney's Villawood detention center, Mohsen Sultany should be enjoying his freedom. But the 34-year-old, who fled Iran to avoid persecution for his political beliefs and is now studying surveying and writing poetry, has frequent nightmares and panic attacks; the verse he writes is always dark. He has been recognized as a refugee by the Australian government, but he can't shake free of the four years he spent in detention fighting for that recognition, or forget the attempted suicides, mental illness and mistreatment he saw there. He still becomes upset when he talks of the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!