SUICIDE AND SELF HARM
On 29 July 2011, the Commonwealth Ombudsman announced that his office would initiate an investigation into suicide and self-harm in Australian immigration detention facilities in response to growing concerns about the impact of long-term detention on the ongoing mental health of detainees
Numerous other stakeholders, including many mental health professionals, support the Ombudsman’s inquiry and have also expressed their growing concerns about prolonged detention in immigration detention centres and the effects it may be having on detainees.
In 12 more days it will be a year and still no report.
During this time hundreds of people have lost their minds literally. SASH watch (Suicide and Self Harm) has been redefined. It is now called PSP (Psychological Support Program) much nicer!
Change of name can not change it’s purpose. Every morning in detention centres around Australia SERCO and DIAC staff gather together to identify the likely suicides for the day. Guards are then allocated to stand watch – at arm’s length for those most likely and at varying distances for the others according to gradient of desperation.
When they reach a point of no return- are psychotic, starving or single mindedly seeking opportunities to die to the exclusion of all other activities, they are carted off to hospital.
As numbers have caused the costs to rise, changes have been made. No more Melbourne Clinic – now it is down the road to cheap some health service place where they lie in a room and are medicated. No activities- nothing just medicated until they become too zombie like to have the capacity to harm them selves. Then they are taken back to detention where they lurch around until they are deemed past the point of self destruction and their medication is wound back until next time.
Not myth- no exaggeration. This is the state of mental health care in detention.
Detention centre staff don’t like it but they are powerless to do anything constructive such as release a person on CD or BV. These powers lie in Canberra where there is no interest in the welfare of asylum seekers. The RSPCA have more powers to order care for animals than asylum seekers in detention centres are entitled to under the mandatory indefinite detention regime.
The last death in detention was on 25th October 2011.
Fellow detainees have saved many others since then – JUST IN TIME.
17 July 2012
SHIP OF SHAME
Remembering The Ship Of Shame When The World Turned Its Back On A Ship Of Jewish Refugees In 1939.
ISLANDS OFFERING TO TAKE THEM FOR MONEY- familiar????
A bidding war erupted between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, with each corrupt island offering to accept the refugees for the right price. Five hundred dollars a head, offered the Dominican Republic — a year`s wages for many American workers.
Five hundred dollars a head plus a $150,000 bond in case we have to feed them, countered the Cubans.
CAPTAIN PLANNING TO SET FIRE TO BOAT TO ENSURE RESCUE- DESPERATION
Ten minutes later, Capt. Gustav Schroeder instructed his helmsman to steer east-northeast on a course back to Nazi Germany.Secretly, however, Schroeder was considering a daring plan to steer his ship close to England where he would set it afire and force the British to rescue his passengers.
You can read Submissions to the EXPERT PANEL on Refugee Boat Arrivals here
WHAT HAPPENS TO DEPORTED TAMILS
There’s a poll at the bottom of this timely article on whether the Australian govt should investigate what happens to deported Tamils…at the moment, only 48% say yes.
I can confirm that I spoke to one of these men when he was in CID custody at Colombo airport.
He confirmed that he had been tortured and could barely speak.
Letters to Then PM Kevin Rudd and Immigration elicited the usual proforma response- “we do not send people back to torture etc etc ” meaningless twaddle when they clearly had sent these men back and they were tortured.
These men were impoverished Singhalese fishermen caught between the brutal politics of a Civil War which is why they had to escape.
They were cheated in Australia, denied legal assistance and subjected to an unfair process designed to deny them protection.
Held on Christmas island, far from any assistance, their cases set to fail from the start.
The Australian Embassy in Sri Lankan knows what happened to them because a representative visited one man in prison after he had been brutally beaten and tortured.
He said ” the woman from the Australian embassy cried when she saw me”.
Please vote- lives at a stake.
Last Friday a young man came to the ASRC asking for a job, any job. He had spent 16 months locked up on Christmas Island before being released in Melbourne on a Bridging Visa. He is living in a private rental flat with others and is looking for work.
He went to Red Cross to pick up his ASAS living allowance (89% of lowest Centrelink payment). They told him that this was the last money he would receive. He wept as he said to me, “I don’t ask you for anything, just a job.”
This will happen across Australia. Red Cross have been instructed by DIAC to summarily cut the allowances of 61 people in Melbourne. They will receive a letter after the event but the allowance is cut as of now.
The people who have taken out leases and are paying rent will have no money from now on for shelter or food. The asylum seeker agencies met with DIAC today seeking a reprieve. It was clear that their reason for meeting us was to let us vent and give nothing. We listened to the spiel telling us to encourage “self agency” and help the people to see their options and make decisions to “move forward”. These men have been denied all access to funded employment services and language classes. The ASRC is the only employment service for asylum seekers and we are struggling to meet the demand with a waiting list of 75.
The justification for this sudden change is that community based asylum seekers (air arrivals) do not get ASAS after RRT so the people who have arrived by boat are not to get it either. The problem is that they are two different cohorts. The people who came by boat had a different refugee process, one so unfair and lacking in justice that it was stopped on March 24 this year. This IMR process was replaced by the RRT process, the same process as for those who arrive by air. However nothing has been put in place to remedy the unfairness and injustice to the boat people whose claims were assessed on the now discredited IMR system. The people who have come by boat have been harmed and institutionalised by long term detention and are mentally and physically debilitated by it.
These “clients” are being encouraged to consider their options towards a removals pathway even though some still have cases in the courts. Some come from countries which will not accept them back whether voluntary or involuntary (Iraq has returned planeloads of refugees sent from UK and Norway last week).
These men were released from detention because they were vulnerable and suffering. Now they are being placed in a position of potential homelessness and destitution in an effort to drive them home. Our fear is that this pressure could result in suicides. We remember Dr Habib who was in the community on a TPV when another government, in an effort to scare him into going home sent him a letter. He went out into the night alone, climbed an electric pole and electrocuted himself in desperation.
Below is the failed TEXT BOOK FORCED DEPORTATION OF A TAMIL ASYLUM SEEKER
designed to quiet concerns for the 180 Tamils who the Australian government want to send home.
This poor man was subject to a16 hour interrogation on return and a forced media conference in which he made the statements below.
WE HAVE GRAVE CONCERNS FOR HIS SAFETY. This is a shocking and shameful move. The Australian government is in cahoots with the Sri lankan embassy and they will together do ANYTHING to Tamil asylum seekers.
Remember when Australia paid Saatchi and Saatchi glamour UK pr firm to use innovative tactics to stop asylum seekers thinking about coming to Australia.
Guess the Australian taxpayer dollars have dried up and so they are falling back on OBVIOUS and Primitive methods such as holding a frightened man and making him say things he clearly could not believe while Australian officials pretend that everything is FINE.
Read and make your own decision – Ring the ministers office if you have concerns.
From Ceylon Daily News:
Sri Lankan asylum seeker describes harrowing experience in Aussie detention centre
A Sri Lankan asylum seeker who was deported by the Australian authorities yesterday requested Sri Lankans not to leave for Australia through illegal means.
He said that a human smuggler has brought him to Australia promising him asylum status through a forged passport and ended up in a detention camp in Melbourne. Dayan Anthony of Negombo who left for Australia in April 2010, said he faced harassment in detention camps.
“I was handcuffed and beaten by the Australian authorities”, he said.
He showed the media how he was harassed by them while in detention.
Anthony who left for Down Under through an agent said that Sri Lankans in detention camps in Australia will have to face the same situation in that country. Various people related to LTTE diaspora in Australia are spreading false information on Sri Lanka. They convinced the asylum seekers that Sri Lankan authorities are harassing the Tamil people who are returning to Sri Lanka.
Anthony said said that he was questioned by the Criminal Investigation Department when he arrived at the Bandaranaike International Airport yesterday and later they released him. “Sri Lanka has become the safest place on the earth after the LTTE was wiped out from the
country. ‘I did not face any type of harassment at the hands of Sri Lankan authorities after I returned to the country”, he said.
‘Certain segments in Australia who pay allegiance to the LTTE sympathizers say Sri Lankan asylum seekers deported by foreign countries are sent directly to Boosa dentention camp and they are harassed inhumanly by the Sri Lankan military. Anthony said he himself realized how friendly the Sri Lankan officials are. He said that he is completely a free person after 27 months in detention.