We asked not long ago if things could possibly get any worse in our overcrowded, under-resourced, inhumane tropical prison camps – sorry, “detention centres”. Our answer arrived this morning.
Following a breakout featuring machete-wielding security personnel and locals (!), one person is dead and almost eighty others have sustained injuries (including a bullet wound). News of the riot comes just days after an Indian student committed suicide while in detention after overstaying a visa, placing the spotlight squarely on Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison and the highly questionable detention policies of his department.
These deaths in custody aren’t just the fault of the current Liberal government, they are the legacy of Liberal PM John Howard’s 2001 decision to begin processing asylum seekers offshore – a decision upheld and expanded upon by successive Labor governments after Kevin Rudd’s election in 2007 and now turned into a tragic farce by the Abbott government.
This loss of control and tragic loss of life shames both parties beyond words and it shames our nation. Action needs to be drastic and immediate.
Demand in person that the government move the 1300 (remaining) asylum seekers to properly staffed and maintained facilities on the mainland and ensure prompt processing/repatriation.
Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison’s office: +61 2 9523 0339
Remember to be nice. Can’t have people being uncivil toward fellow human beings, now, can we?