The Sydney Morning-Herald published an article on April 25 about two attempted suicides in on Wednesday at the Broadmeadows detention centre in Melbourne, Australia. Ealier this week, 27 refugees held a 10 day hunger strike [here is the html for a documentary about the strike, the link was glitching so it had to be included this way youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSj3TllK7Xs] before in protest of their inhumane treatment at the centre. This situation at Broadmeadows detention centre and the many other detention centres across the country are deporable and break the promise the Australian government has given to many of these refugees. Here is an example in the story of one of the refugees who attempted to take their own life;
It’s believed the 17-year-old was an Iraqi national who had arrived after the rules changed on August 13, when processing of asylum seekers was frozen under ”no advantage” rules designed to deter asylum seekers from getting on boats for Australia. Under those rules, asylum seekers who arrived in Australian territories by boat will be expected to wait as long for a positive refugee determination as those who sought a visa offshore, the government says.
”The men apparently believe the only way to get out [of detention] is to hurt themselves,” Ms Curr said.
”They’ve seen three people released recently who did just that. And despite other asylum seekers and refugee advocates telling them that’s not the way, that’s not what they’re seeing with their own eyes.”
How is this considered morally or legally acceptable? The Age Victoria reported that more than 200 refugee advocates have spent the week outside of the Broadmeadows detention centre and on April 28 more protesters are planning to rally for the asylum-seekers inside. One of the protesters earlier this week was a former refugee himself who told The Age Vistoria about the conditions there;
Among the crowd was a former asylum seeker who said public support, in the form of letters and rallies, helped his fellow detainees deal with depression and suicidal thoughts. ”I did not have a name. I was number 27,” he said, declining to be named. ”We were dehumanised.”
Australia is one of the only nations in the world with a similar back-story to the United States of America. But there is the small catch that Australia was once considered a prison sentence first and foremost, yet now people desperate to flee extreme and violent persecution are treated like criminals, even when they come legally? This is wrong and there should be national and international outcry over what is happening there.