Refugee and Human Rights advocates are in shock at the Rudd Government announcement that Curtin, the Howard era hellhole is to be reopened. Curtin Detention Centre was the worst of Australia's hellholes. It was the most secret, most isolsted and the most brutal. Curtin is 28 hours by road from Perth. It is 1/2 hour by road from Derby and 6 hours from Port Hedland. The Rudd government may think that they can detain and hide people in an isolated hellhole but they underestimate the decency and determination of the human rights community in Australia. For a decade we fought the Howard government and we have lost none of our resolve.
The commandant of Curtin was Greg Wallis- Ruddocks favorite bovver boy. He went on to run Baxter Detention Centre and organised the cruel kidnapping of a little girl- a matter on which he may still be charged.
We will make life hell for the Rudd government if they persist in this blatant abuse of human rights. We remind the Rudd government that the the Howard government held people in indefinte arbitrary detention and look what happened to them.
Added to this indignity is the plan to take teenagers to Baxter detention centre and lock them up until they are forced to go home. How quickly have the promises to end the detention of children been forgotten.
Opening Curtin could be the Prime Ministers nemesis. He is ill-advised by the old Howard war horses if he thinks that the Australian human rights community will stomach this assault on vulnerable people.
We urge the Labor government to read the book below to remind themselves of the brutal conditions in Curtin.
Human Rights Overboard - seeking asylum in Australia by linda Briskman & Susie Latham & Chris Goddard, Winner of the Literature Non-Fiction Award of The Australian Human Rights Commission’s annual Human Rights Medals and Awards
Images: Just in case anyone has forgotten Curtin - a few photos of this infamous hellhole. These wooden boxes were where suicidal people were placed for days on end in the dark, 40 degree plus heat.
The room is where groups of people were held for weeks on end. This was the Curtin Mental Health regime for people who were held in "separation detention" for up to eleven months, left in limbo with no information as to their future.
Information via Pamela Curr, Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre