Posts Tagged ‘Asylum seekers’

Will Australia finally face its own trial over refugees?

April 27, 2017

The court decision to award damages to a girl held in detention on Christmas Island when she was just five years old must send panic through our Government. The fact that the Government offered compensation on the first day of the trial speaks volumes. The Government must fear that many now will also seek compensation for having been held in detention. The case of the girl started as a class action but the Court refused on the grounds it was lacking in common or shared issues.

For some years now the Australian Government has been accused of criminal neglect in keeping asylum seekers in detention under harsh conditions. The UN and the UNHCR have repeatedly warned Australia it was in breach of Human Rights. All to no avail. This Government stubbornly sticks to its mantra  that;

1. It is all the fault of the opposition the Labor party, in setting up the detention centres in first place.

2. To stop the boats coming and prevent drownings we need to give a good example to those that are contemplating escaping the horrors of war.

It seems that those that did not drown are now being punished. The refugees are in their fourth year of detention!

Australia is now trying to trade with the US administration some of the refugees still held in Nauru and Manus Island in exchange for some Latin American refugees held in the US. It is all shrouded in secrecy. Donald Trump said the deal  ‘was the worst he ever heard of.’  The obvious solution is for those refugees to be accepted in Australia. This is being fought tooth and nail against by the architects of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru, Scott Morrison and now Peter Dutton. Our Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is whipping us into a nationalistic fervour. ‘We must all stand-up and defend our ‘unique Australian Values’ . ‘He goes on about ‘the fair go and respect for law.’ The hypocrisy is just dripping so copiously from him it is actually showing.

I have reached the stage I try and not show my Australian passport. How can I keep my head up high?  How can I be proud of a country that has done such a terrible deed  and continues to do so, on the most vulnerable?

I hereby copy a recent post on my Oosterman blog by a man who worked as a guard on Manus;

Beau Mitchell Says:

“It is not a military run operation although its no coincidence that the vast majority of the workers, including myself were ex military and like myself ex special forces. unfortunately you can mistreat people like this when its off shore like this. There have been 2 companies that worked in Manus G4S and Wilson Security, I worked for both. This ABC story was the 2nd story I actually spoke to 10 Eyewitness news first. There was a media injunction slapped on me within 48 hours of speaking to 10 and in that 48 hours I spoke to ABC with the above report. No we do not have freedom of speech in Australia, you have watched to many American TV shows if you think this. in the event this message gets traced back to me I face up to 15 years in a federal prison for the crime of empathy. On Manus the Security company Wilson is the Judge, Jury and Executioner when it comes to discipline of the refugees located there. In the event a refugee does something wrong there is a make shift prison made from shipping containers, there is no trial or interaction with the local police, Wilson management makes the decision on the punishment one particular incident I recall a refugee lost his temper and started trying to hit people with a lump of wood (did not actually hit anyone) his punishment was a week in the Chauka (name of secret prison) where he was beaten each night (6 times in total) until unconscious during this time period, I was given the task of guarding the prison, I was posted at the main gate, and did not go in the Chauka. The smell was terrible of human feces and urine but being that I was on the outside I did not know why. I eventually saw”

LikeLikeBeau Mitchell Says:




Australia; An international embarrassment.

December 3, 2015


Here the latest on our “Border Control Force” effort is stopping children from refugees being taken out of their camps by nuns.

“A program run by a group of Catholic nuns that took children in immigration detention on outings has been deemed “not appropriate” by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP), run by the Brigidine Sisters, took groups of children from the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) in Broadmeadows out into the community for supervised day trips.

Sister Brigid Arthur said the program had run for four years until it was stopped by Australian Border Force (ABF) “about six months ago”.

“[We’d] go to the Collingwood Children’s Farm, go to the zoo occasionally, out to adventure playgrounds,” Sister Brigid told 774 ABC Melbourne’s Jon Faine.

“Anything that actually can entertain the kids and give them some stimulation.”

The program also included occasional day trips for adults in immigration detention.

Sister Brigid said there were never any incidents or escape attempts on the outings.

“The outings were amazingly free from any incident. The people were so pleased to be out and about,” she said.

“Most of the kids don’t want to go with the officers, who are seen to be ‘security’ people.”

Children in detention ‘need stimulation’

Sister Brigid said children in particular become very bored when held in detention.

“Kids need a lot of stimulation,” she said.

Some would say it’s a form of torture to have [the children] cooped up.

Senator John Madigan

“Just having other kids to play with, having things to do that are outside the norm … it’s so absolutely important for the welfare of these kids.”

Sister Brigid said one little girl fell in love with a goat at the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

“That was a magical day. We’d gone to the Collingwood Children’s Farm and that little girl was very quiet.

“Then when we went around to different animals she was a bit excited, but when we got to the goat, she just loved that goat.

“She just fell in love with that goat.”

Sister Brigid said detention was starting to have a negative impact on the 17 children held at MITA.

She said she had talked to an “incredibly caring” parent of a three-year-old boy held in detention who was concerned at changes they were seeing in their child.

“We don’t know what to do with him, he just gets so angry these days,” she recalled the parent as saying.

Rules becoming ‘more draconian under guise of security’

Victorian senator John Madigan said his office had placed a call to Mr Dutton’s office “to seek clarification” on the status of the Brigidine Sisters’ project.

“I’m totally bewildered … as to what the hell is happening here,” Senator Madigan said.

He said he could not understand what problem could be with taking children out of the detention centre for excursions to places like the Collingwood Children’s Farm.

“Some would say it’s a form of torture to have them cooped up,” the senator said.

Sister Brigid said the rules at the detention centre were becoming “more draconian … under the guise of security”.

Of Motions and Spills.

February 9, 2015
The geranium

The geranium

I am not sure where the present obsession of motions and spill originate from. I could google it but at my age I have enough on my plate.
I know that moving motions is the essence of getting on with the business of governing but how politicians can keep a straight face in Parliament while sitting on private motions is tsunami causing hilariously funny. Is that why the English speaking world has produced so many top comedians? How did the word ‘motion’ ever come to be part of parliamentary language as did ‘spills’? Another type of moving motions is the intestinal one, at times far more urgent and necessary. When you look at that coterie of politicians sitting there in rows it might help to see them in their other ‘motion moving’ role as well. It helps to give perspective.

With the latest spill being defeated, our PM can again walk tall, more likely stumble on. He must restrain his habit of rashly following his scattered urges and the flowery repetitious language. His wife ought to take the pictures of Queen and Country away from his bed-side table, replace them with a picture of Erasmus of Rotterdam instead. For his daily drink, give him Billy Tea instead of Earl Grey. It might also help for Mrs Abbott to tie him to a plank to stop him from his obsessive and continuous genuflecting motions whenever he thinks of Australia as living at the feet of Queen Victoria and glorious Beefeaters.

I don’t know what holds the future. Will it be a continuation of what we have now? I feel somewhat deflated with the prospect of seeing the Abbott spectacle for some time yet on TV. I do have the option of switching the thing off.

I remember well the excitement of the new. With age comes repetition of events and the edges less sharply defined, a dulling of experiences, the sun a bit less yellow. But whatever the future holds, I will never give in to the brutality of what our leaders have meted out towards the asylum seekers. That will keep me on edge as nothing else will. Oh, and the silly knighthoods, moving motions and all the rest of absurdity of life…

We mustn’t take it too seriously. Go and get a laugh.

A very brutal Australia.

January 16, 2015


Here a mug shot of the Australian ministers responsible for dreadful crimes committed against humanity. The prime minister T.Abbott and Scott Morrison minister for inhumanity.

Peter Dutton ‘worried’ about ‘volatile’ Manus Island protests; says hunger-strikers ‘will never arrive in Australia’

By Julie Doyle and PNG correspondent Liam Cochrane

Updated about an hour agoFri 16 Jan 2015, 4:02pm

Vine: Detainees chant ‘freedom’ on Manus Island

Banner on Manus Island
Photo: A banner on display inside the Manus Island detention centre (Supplied)

6021446-3x2-340x227 a banner

Related Story: Government confirms self-harm protests on Manus Island

Related Story: Asylum seekers claim mass hunger strike on Manus Island

Map: Papua New Guinea

The Immigration Minister says he is worried about the “volatile” situation at the Manus Island detention centre, where asylum seekers have reportedly swallowed washing powder and razors as part of ongoing protests.

Peter Dutton said he was concerned about the behaviour of asylum seekers, but would not give any detail about the information he had received.

“I’m worried about developments across the last 24 hours, I’m concerned about what I’ve learnt in the last hour or so and the situation is volatile there’s no question about that,” he said.

Mr Dutton said people outside the centre had been encouraging the behaviour by telling asylum seekers it could help them get to Australia.

“I’m very concerned that somehow people are conveying a message that through non-compliant behaviour, by refusing to take food or water that somehow that behaviour will change the outcome for those individual cases in terms of their desire to be settled in Australia,” he said.

“If people are acting on that advice they should dismiss that advice.”

Mr Dutton confirmed there had been incidents of self-harm at the centre and said asylum seekers had been offered medical help.

He said one detainee had been transferred from the facility for X-rays and more specialised treatment.

Banner on Manus Island
Photo: A banner on display inside the Manus Island detention centre (Supplied)

The minister said the behaviour would not change the Government’s resolve on border security and detainees on Manus Island would never be resettled in Australia.

“My message today is very clear to the transferees on Manus and in other facilities: whilst there has been a change of minister the absolute resolve of me as the new minister and of the Government is to make sure that for those transferees they will never arrive in Australia,” he said.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said there was a “human disaster” unfolding inside the detention centre and the minister’s response was “woefully inadequate”.

“I fear that the harsh message that he attempted to send to those who are already showing such awful, tragic signs of desperation will simply inflame the situation,” she said.

“What we need is not harsh sound bites from the Immigration Minister but a little more heart and a little more compassion and empathy.”

After Mr Dutton’s suggestion people outside the centre were encouraging the asylum seekers’ behaviour, Senator Hanson-Young made clear her message for the protesters:

“Please don’t harm yourselves, involve in a constructive discussion with those inside, those who work at the centre and of course those who represent the Immigration Minister.”

Video appears to show men being taken away on stretchers

The ABC has obtained video from inside the detention centre showing what appears to be two men being taken away on stretchers.

An asylum seeker said the images showed Pakistani men who had consumed washing powder and then collapsed.


He said another Iranian man swallowed razor blades, the second such alleged case this week.

The ABC cannot independently verify the reports, and the condition of those who have collapsed is not known.

Other footage, said to be from Delta compound, showed asylum seekers chanting for freedom while guards patrolled on the other side of a fence.

An asylum seeker who spoke to the ABC on Wednesday said 15 people had sewn their lips shut and 400 men were on a hunger strike.

The protest and hunger strike continues into its fourth day

The ‘morality’ of Australia under our Prime Minister!

July 8, 2014

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott says asylum seeker mothers attempting self-harm won’t influence Government’s border protection policy

Updated 11 minutes ago

Tony Abbott
Photo: Tony Abbott says Australians would not want him to “capitulate to moral blackmail”. (AAP: James Elsby. File photo.)
Related Story: Asylum seekers may be held at sea for weeks if High Court hears case Related Story: High Court case may shed light on Tamils’ fate

Map: Australia

The Prime Minister says the Government will not be held “over a moral barrel” amid reports asylum seekers in detention are attempting suicide to ensure their children are settled in Australia.

Fairfax is reporting that a dozen mothers on Christmas Island have attempted to kill themselves so their children have a better chance of being accepted by immigration officials.

It comes as 153 Sri Lankan asylum seekers are held at sea while the High Court considers whether to hear a case on the legality of the Government’s actions.

Tony Abbott told Channel 9 that he would not comment on the specifics of the case but said the asylum seekers we safe.

When asked about the reports of mothers self-harm…

read on.