The Human Rights Alliance Media Release:
Unprecedented crises of the Australian racist identity looming - Christmas Island Detention Centre a war zone.
Even with the transient relief of the High Court legal injunction various reports and a plethora of desperate pleas are rampaging out of Christmas Island Detention Centre, from Asylum Seekers and from some of those who work there.
These pleas and a myriad of various crises are pouring out of not only Christmas Island however from Curtin Detention Centre, from Northern Immigration Detention Centre, Darwin, Marybedong and Scherger Detention Centres.
17 year old attempted suicide.
Pregnant mother should not be at risk of losing her unborn child.
Self harming at unprecedented levels. Young and older Asylum Seekers are self harming, attempting suicide, are burdened by various clinical breakdowns, harangued by exhaustion into protests, hunger strikes, physical and mental illnesses - and are collapsing from dehydration, deprivations, from the tumult of starvation.
Disturbingly reports of physical force, bullying and other various intimidatory violences are increasingly levelled against Asylum Seekers, and these go unchecked. There are no Inspectorates, no UN Observers to monitor and therefore eliminate the impetus of these behaviours against Asylum Seekers.
Two Asylum Seekers, at Curtin Detention Centre, incarcerated near a year and a half, have self harmed and have attempted suicide.
A common theme scathes the pleas from Asylum Seekers at Northern Immigration Detention Centre, Darwin, where Asylum Seekers appear in acute and abject despair, as they describe the obscene levels of filth, the lack of hygiene, and the lack of medical attention, the bullying and prison like monitoring they endure, the restriction of movement - and that they are like 'caged animals'... Illnesses and breakdowns go undiagnosed and untreated.
Christmas Island Detention Centre is on high alert as tensions will not and cannot be abated and are rising, and there exists the fear of en masse riots, and the fear that Asylum Seekers are being hidden from the view of unfettered news media contact and that anything can be said about them without their right to play and to our right to contextual truths.
Even with the flourish of hopes from the High Court injunction, and its extension, with the wondering that this may be a turning point, contingent on the future rulings, and that the High Court outcomes may force the hand of the Commonwealth's inhumane policies - and coalesce more humane policies propriety underwritten and in line with the intentions of the various UN Conventions, Protocols, sub-Protocols, many nevertheless fear that in the meantime that there are those in waiting who can no longer hold on, will not hold on to their faculties and their health. Self harm has reached unprecedented levels and rates not only in proportion to the custodial population however in the severity of the harming.
There is grievous trauma, and multiple trauma, various acute and chronic clinical disorders, various depressions, acute, chronic, abject and many irreparable, the advent of mental dissociations, psychotic episodes, a myriad of phobias, suicide and multiple suicide attempts, suicides and the prospect of premature deaths. Many are concerned for the well being and state of mind not only in detention, not only pre-release however also post-release in Australia. Many have begun to view Australia, as do many of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, as a racist and persecutory nation with a distinctly unaccountable government. Has the Commonwealth of Australia not considered the legacy of the physical and mental health damage and consequences done to our Aboriginal brothers and sisters and therefore cannot the Commonwealth see the damage it is likewise doing to our brothers and sisters who are Asylum Seekers and the racism that their cultural and historical identities will have to endure? Or is the Commonwealth of Australia just plain racist and discriminatory?
There will be more Detention Centre Deaths in Custody and there will be legacies to burden future generations.
People are losing their minds, living in utter terror, claustrophobically isolated, bullied and abused into Compounds and into the sickening 'Behaviour Management Units'. And what of the broken minds hellishly incarcerated by a Government without a moral compass into jails such as Silverwater, Bankstown, etc., - on the distorted presumptions they are protestors and dissenters rather than mentally exhausted, frail, broken and in sheer fighting for their lives and those of their families.
The Injunction was long expected however the ALP's racism, the Greens' general silence and their meek language and their cowardly refusal to pull the pin on this appalling Government and this dark chapter of Australian history were not as expected although not surprising.
I support the rights of our Asylum Seekers as I would support your rights. I listen to their cries, anguish, mental despair, their suffocation and the whispering malaise the precedes either their untimely death or total mental collapse.
Convener, Human Rights Alliance
PhD Law researcher in Australian Deaths in Custody
Contact - 0430 657 309