Four suicide attempts show detention madness continues without any DIMIA culture change

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130

Four suicide attempts show detention madness continues without any DIMIA culture change

Media Release
Wednesday September 7 2005 14:00am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"The appalling misery of refugees in Australia's detention centres continues unabated with as many as four suicide attempts in detention centres in as many days," WA Human rights lobby group Project SafeCom said today.

"In the Baxter detention centre, a man attempted to hang himself from his belt; another man of Iranian nationality has refused to eat - he has been on a hungerstrike since a couple of weeks - and has told advocates he intends to die, while a third man who planned to commit suicide was prevented from taking action when razor blades were removed from his person after a visiting advocate alerted the detention centre's health worker," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"These three suicides come on top of a fourth case, where a Bangladeshi man in the Perth detention centre overdosed on 20 tablets, possibly sleeping tablets. This man was subject to a failed deportation attempt by the Department of Immigration back in June this year."

"Why were the Return Pending Bridging Visas created as a result of the pressure by the Georgiou group?" Mr Smit asked; "Were they not created because the horrors of permanent detention became so obvious that all people needed to come out of detention as fast as possible, before they were going mad?"

"Are we only taking the well-known asylum seekers out of our torture centres, and are we leaving the rest out there to rot until they die or kill themselves?"

"This week the Minister for Immigration tried to squirm out of the straightforward questions from the Greens' Kerry Nettle in the Senate - but the fact that she audaciously suggested that recommendations from the United Nations Human Rights Commission "are not binding" for DIMIA or for herself, shows how she is absolutely filled to the brim with hypocrisy about the suggested and promised thorough "culture change" in DIMIA, when the Mea Culpa's came from everywhere after the release of the damning Palmer report."

"The DIMIA Compliance Branch was shown up last weekend as a branch without any intentions to change its culture of whisking people on deportation flights in the dark and before the story breaks, and the Minister is trying to cover up their horror by trying to discredit the UN Human Rights Commission's pressure on her department."

"The DIMIA Compliance branch should be completely dismantled, and each and every cowboy within it should be sacked."

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

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