We were kept in a cattle station.
Once I remember we were kept in a cattle station in Cocos Island for about 5 months by the Australian government under the Howard regime. There were about 80 asylum seekers with me and we were hidden from the rest of the world. We were without any legal representation to claim refugee in Australia lacked medical and welfare assistance.
One morning we were called out for a meeting by the DIMIA manager who was in charge and were asked “who wants to go to Australia?”. We all replied “please take us!” to which he then told us to pack our gear as quick as we can as we were all going to Australia.
Everyone was excited and dressed happily and were expecting to be transferred to Australia however DIAC officials called out the names of about 50 asylum seekers. These people were taken to the airport and deported back to their countries. Some were begging to remain while being hand cuffed. Those asylum seekers who were deported did not have the opportunity to have their refugee claim heard in present with a legal representative or express their plight of arrival in Australia. The hierarchies of discrimination and the refugee screening out process has not just started yesterday, it has a long history of discrimination in Australia. Fundamentally both Australian political parties have blood on its hands through supporting the involuntary deportation of asylum seekers over these last two decades.
Note - An individual seeking safety from fear of persecution or harm is a “refugee”. Seeking asylum in Australia is the beginning of the tortuous process of having to face mandatory detention, security checks, involuntary deportation and the barrage of insensitive questioners under the guise of ‘security’. One should remember this is another way of persecuting refugees under the ‘democratic Australian flag’.
Others need not suffer my living hell
It is 10 years this week since Woomera detention centre was closed. I still remember how isolated our lives were in the middle of the desert. Incidents of self-harm such as ingesting shampoo or cutting with razor wire were things I’d see every day.
Some nights we’d get together and speak about our families and I would notice our group getting smaller. My memories are full of riots, people being beaten and tear-gassed, and friends being taken into isolation for weeks where they get locked up in a tiny room. Have we moved on from these distraught experiences?
Woomera immigration detention centre was built on a defence site in South Australia, in the middle of nowhere, in the desert about two hours’ drive from Port Augusta. It was opened in 1999 by the Howard government and closed in 2003.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/comment/others-need-not-suffer-my-living-hell-20130419-2i5nf.html#ixzz2RWwpvKNZ
The Australian Government’s “humanitarian” solution
Manus Island in Papua New Guinea is now the latest offshore camp being used by the Australian government to forcibly transport and indefinitely detain asylum seekers, men, women and children, who arrive in Australia to seek protection. Currently there are 221 asylum seekers held in this detention camp, run by the government of Australia.
Within just two days over the weekend, Refugee advocates in Australia were alerted to the following incidents in the camp.
- An asylum seeker tried to hang himself (at the moment awaiting information if he has sustained permanent damage)
- Asylum seekers ran out of the camp to the ocean and tried to drown themselves.
- Asylum seekers collapsed because they had refused to take any food as a protest with many asylum seekers undertaking a hungry strike in front of the reception centre on the island
- Young asylum seekers had cut themselves.
Note;- We must not forget that “Refugee Expert Panel” recommendations are in-line with the government “stop the boat” policies and punishing people coming on boats - thanks to the panel “Gurus” Paris Aristotle, Michael L’Estrange and Angus Houston.
Summary update on government refugee policy change November 2012
Asylum seekers who arrived since offshore processing resumed would be released into the community on bridging visas. This would apply to asylum seekers arriving after 13 August 2012.
The new policy is intended to apply the government’s ‘no advantage’ principle.
A person subject to these bridging visas will:
a) Not have the right to work for as long as 5 years
b) Could be waiting for a period of 5 years before being resettled in Australia. These bridging visas would apply even after being found to be a refugee.
c) Would receive only minimal accommodation assistance. They will be expected to pay for accommodation after receiving six weeks’ accommodation from the Red Cross.
d) Would be eligible only for 89 per cent of the lowest level of the dole - about $440 a fortnight for singles - plus $107 in fortnightly rent assistance.
e) The bridging visas will deny family reunion rights under the special humanitarian program.
How Australia is credible for HYPOCRISY
26 Sri Lankan asylum seekers were sent back to Sri Lanka on a charter flight from Christmas Island last night. The asylum seekers were sent back to their country even before they were given an opportunity to plead their refugee claims. A similar crackdown occurred last week; another 14 Sri Lankans were returned to Sri Lanka without any processes. While the Sri Lankan government is endorsing the Australian Government’s every move concerning deportation of Tamil asylum seekers, the Labor government uses Sri Lankan asylum seekers as bait to conjure public applause and convey they have “STOPPED THE BOATS” .The Labor government’s policy is unrealistic and no government policy can stop people attempting the journey to Australia on boat while there are over 43 million displaced refugees around the world. Nauru and Manus are not solutions, instead are indicative of the Australian government’s nationalistic, racist and conservative sentiments.
1. Australia’s noncompliance with the UN refugee convention
2. Australia doesn’t have National Human Rights Charter
3. Non-existent child protection policy for asylum seekers
Asylum seekers treated as ‘sub-human’
Royalty of White Australians - Top to Bottom
The Australian Government’s recent decision to re-open the Nauru and Manus Island detention centre is immoral and extremely harmful. I speak from my experiences of being detained three years in both offshore and onshore Australian detention centre.
Mandatory detention is an illegal form of incarceration established by the Labor government and developed under former Prime Minister John Howard’s Liberal government in a policy known as the “Pacific Solution.” Detainees are held in detention without trial for any offence and with no limit of time. Now under the current Labor Government, led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, offshore processing has become a part of Australian law, based on the recommendations of an appointed “expert Panel”, despite being against their own party’s platform.
None of the three individuals on the Houston Panel were appointed by refugee community groups or advocates, and therefore it came as no surprise that their proposal was in line with the Government’s own offshore policy platform. (Link from “Houston Report” to here: http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report )
Many of us have experienced first-hand what it is like to be detained in this kind of detention centre
Royal Princess “the Australian Prime Minister” Julia Gillard being towed around on the backs of the people of Nauru. Julia Gillard was visiting Nauru to discuss opening an offshore processing center to “STOP THE BOATS”. Gillard government is punishing refugees coming in boats creating savage refugee policies such as indefinite detention, offshore processing and lengthy process of visa application and now adding the tally of cutting of family reunion.
· Rethink Refugees
· Rethink Asylum Seekers
· Rethink Boat Tragedies
· Rethink Immigration Detention Centres
· Rethink Deaths in Detention
· Rethink Forceful Deportation
· Rethink Malaysian Solution
· Rethink Nauru
· Rethink Offshore Processing
· Rethink Temporary Protection Visas
· Rethink Politicized Arguments
Freedom without “Barriers” is a day of “FREEDOM”
“John Howard-era” coming back to the political agenda today. Discussion on re-opening Nauru and introducing TPV. Offshore processing centre may lower the numbers of people coming directly to Australia by boat but it cannot put a full stop to people attempting to make the journey by boat to seek the protection they desperately need. Further after introduction of TPV in 1999, boat arrivals were increased including rise of woman and children on the boats as well as TPV breaches of the Refugee Convention. Asylum seekers are continuously getting politicize in Australia.
Boat tragedy off Christmas Island.
Condolences for those families who have lost their loved ones in the boat tragedy off Christmas Island.
It is utterly ignorance of AMSA’s rescue centre not taking immediate response despite receiving calls from the vessel indicating it was experiencing difficulties on Tuesday 19th of June 2012. It took over 40 hours, since receiving the call, until the Customs and Border Protection flight departed from Christmas Island to search for the boat. Deaths are sure to be expected. This is not just the Indonesian authority’s responsibility, it is ours also.
Asylum seekers take the ultimate perilous journeys to seek refuge, this being a great example of their desperation for freedom and safety. It is shameful Australia has made it a pawn in their fight for power. The deaths of these asylum seekers attempting asylum in Australia, over the last decade, seems only to result in a recurring theme of debate and rhetoric with no progressive and humane solution being provided.