It’s time to revive the Tampa spirit and rescue the refugees our Australian neighbours have sent off to rot in hellish prison camps on remote islands like Nauru and Manus.It’s time to revive the Tampa spirit and rescue the refugees our Australian neighbours have sent off to rot in hellish prison camps on remote islands like Nauru and Manus.
A leaked United Nations refugee agency report says conditions on Manus are ‘equivalent to a maximum security prison’.
On Nauru the report says: ‘It appears that post traumatic distress disorder (PTSD) and depression have reached epidemic proportions . . . UNHCR anticipates that mental illness – distress and suicide will continue to escalate in the immediate and foreseeable future’.
The refugees are not only being treated cruelly and inhumanely by the Australians – but they’re also subject to random attacks by locals.
Adding to the insanity is that according to Labour senator Lisa Singh – who is on secondment to the United Nations agency – it is costing Australian taxpayers $610,000 per year per refugee to inflict this cruelty on the defenceless refugees.
(ed: this is a piece from the australian current affairs show ‘four corners’..)
They’re the human face of Australia’s tough border policies – the more than 100 refugee children living on Nauru.
‘We’re not criminals and we’re not dangerous. Can you tell us why are we still here?’ Child refugee
On Monday night Four Corners speaks to children and young people recognised as refugees – released from detention but trapped in limbo.
‘When people came here they were patient. No one is patient any more. They’re just waiting for a spark to explode’. Young refugee
In footage filmed for Four Corners and smuggled out of the country these children talk of their experiences over the last three years.
‘They showed the knife to us and they say don’t come here anymore. This is not your school – this is our school. This is our country. Go away from here.’ Child refugee
Both the Nauruan and Australian governments say they want the refugees moved on from Nauru but they have been unable to reach agreements on where else they could be sent.
‘They tell us ‘We will take you to another country’ – ‘You will stay here for one more month’ – ‘You will stay here for one more year.’ And then every time – lying’. Child refugee
While that stalemate continues many of these children are struggling to hang on to hope.
Human rights body says healthcare inadequate on island and suicide attempts – including among children – are common.
Amnesty International has condemned Australia’s offshore detention regime on Nauru as an ‘open-air prison’ and akin to ‘torture’ where refugees and and asylum seekers are attacked with impunity – healthcare is inadequate or non-existent and suicide attempts – including among children – are common.
Amnesty researchers visited the island in July and its new report of conditions has catalogued a series of interviews with 58 asylum seekers and refugees – Nauruan locals and Australian staff who work in the processing centre.
‘The Australian government had been very clear – including in public statements – about the purpose of this system – to deter people from seeking asylum in Australia] Amnesty International’s senior director for research, Dr Anna Neistat told the Guardian.
‘What we see in Nauru essentially amounts to torture – a system set up to cause deliberate harm to people’.
Beyond its Australian detention centres – photographer Sally McInerney captures another side of this tiny island nation.
Despite attracting intense international media scrutiny in recent years little is known about Nauru beyond its old phosphate mines and Australia’s detention centres.
Sally McInerney – daughter of pioneering Australian modernist female photographer Olive Cotton decided to capture a different view of this tiny Pacific island nation.
Taken from two trips in 2014 and 2015 this collection of starkly honest images – of local restaurants- swimming pools and brightly painted streets – help demystify life on Nauru.
Peter Young – who had responsibility for the mental health of asylum seekers in all Australian-run detention centres from 2011 to 2014 – says the Immigration Department told doctors it did not want to hear about mental harm caused by being detained.
‘We were repeatedly told … it was unacceptable to put in reports to the department that people’s mental health had been harmed by being in detention in Nauru’ he told a Senate committee investigating allegations of abuse at the facility.
Young – who has previously accused the department of covering up allegations of sexual abuse at the centre on Nauru – said he refused to change his reports on that advice.
His staff frequently complained their care was being undermined by pushback from the Immigration Department – he said.
He blames in part the ‘overriding concern’ of protecting the institution for abuse at the facility and claims medical recommendations were frequently not accepted and delayed.
He claimed the department told him medical recommendations to evacuate asylum seekers to Australia for treatment would ‘undermine’ the offshore detention policy – and allow access to lawyers.