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August 18, 2011

BEATEN DETAINEE FACES DEPORTATION

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee groups believe that the Immigration department is making a further attempt to deport an Indian man from Villawood detention centre this (Thursday) morning.

After failing to deport the Indian man on Wednesday morning, he had been told that he was to be removed at 10am this morning.

The man had been beaten by three Serco guards at the Sydney airport on Wednesday morning trying to force him onto a Thai airways plane to Bangkok. He suffered injuries to his face and body after being punched and kicked while handcuffed.

Serco officers coerced him into signing a document saying he agreed to go back, saying, “You saw what happened this morning with two escorts. We will come back with six officers tomorrow morning unless you sign.”

He was returned to Villawood and held in isolation there. Other Serco and medical staff at Villawood have confirmed that the man had been injured with extensive bruising and swelling on his face.

On Wednesday evening, the man was taken to Bankstown hospital for a medical examination following his compliant to the police of being assaulted by Serco guards. He was told police would attend at the hospital but they failed to appear.

He was then told that the Federal Police would come to Villawood detention centre to interview him, but they did not show up.

Early Thursday morning, the Refugee Action Coalition spoke directly to the Federal Police and confirmed that they had received the man’s compliant and were told that it would be investigated but they could not give any operational details of the investigation.

The police declined to contact Villawood, or the immigration department at Sydney airport to confirm there was an investigation.

Refugee advocates have lost touch with the Indian man around 6.15am Thursday after being told that he was being surrounded by Serco guards determined to remove him.

“We are seriously concerned for the safety of this man,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “It is clear that he was beaten by guards while he was handcuffed at the airport yesterday. With even more officers involved this morning he is at risk of even more abuse, as well as the possibility of being shackled and forced on to the plane.

“We can only assume that the Immigration department and Serco are now attempting to cover up their mistreatment of this man by hurrying out of the country to avoid the police investigation of the assault on this man. Unless the Minister halts this deportation he will be complicit in denying him justice.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713.

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