Non-existing Refugee 'cattle prods' surface on Manus Island

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

Non-existing Refugee 'cattle prods' surface on Manus Island

Media Release
Saturday January 10 2004 13:30pm WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

Allegations of the use of cattle prods, according to asylum seekers used by RAN when boarding refugee boats intercepted by the NAVY, especially at the time of the children overboard scandal prior to the 2001 Federal election, have again surfaced.

In an interview with refugees who were formerly detained at the Lombrum detention centre on Manus Island after their boat, The Olong (SIEV 4), was intercepted by HMAS Adelaide, New Zealand journalist Kim Ruscoe (The Dominion Post) quotes an Iranian man, Mr Alibrahimy as saying that they were "treated like criminals, physically abused by Australian guards and kept in line with electric cattle prods".

Mr Alibrahimy's testimony correlates with reports from asylum seekers in the hands of Amnesty International. An Amnesty International employee last year insisted in interviews by the BBC for the documentary "Australia's Pacific Solution" that asylum seekers had also told him that cattle prods were used on them.

He maintained his assertions even when faced with forceful denials by former Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock in the documentary that "such cattle prods do not exist" in the NAVY.

Ms Ruscoe's article is reprinted below.

Project SafeCom last year published about 18 "missing" photographs of the Children Overboard Incident on its website, some of which were published at the time by The Australian and some other News Ltd and Fairfax publications. [See website link below]

National Greens Spokesperson for Refugees Ms Pamela Curr also confirmed that she had interviewed a young girl who could describe in detail to her how the catttle prods had been used on people in the Woomera detention centre by members of the CERT team - the socalled 'riot squad'.

For more information:

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
Narrogin/Fremantle WA
[phone number posted]

Ms Pamela Curr
National Greens Spokesperson for Refugees
[phone number posted]

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