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October 31, 2011

DARWIN DETENTION ONE WEEK AFTER FOUR CORNERS – ADVOCATES CONDEMN GOVERNMENT INACTION

by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

* More suicide attempts  * Burmese roof top protest enters eighth day  * Five graves dug in North One compound

Refugee advocates have condemned government inaction at the Darwin detention centre.

One week after the Four Corners program revealed shocking footage of self-harm and attempted suicide in Darwin detention centre, and six days after Shooty’s suicide in Villawood nothing has changed.

In the Darwin detention centre, every day of the week since the program, there have been instances of self-harm and attempted suicide.

The Iranian man depicted under surveillance after an attempted hanging has twice since then tried to hang himself from the roof of the compound and twice has only been stopped when friends intervened.

After attempting to hang himself from the roof on Thursday 27 October, on Friday 28 October, the same man also tied his arm to cut the blood flow and was only stopped when Serco staff surrounded him.

The only response to self-harm and attempted suicide is 24-hour surveillance by Serco guards. In North One, there are two asylum seekers with guards on permanent watch at their doors, while guards constantly monitor the two Burmese refugees (waiting 17 months for security clearance) are beginning their eighth day of their roof-top protest.

GRAVE PROTEST

In the north one compound, Iranian and Fali Kurds have dug five graves in the volley ball field, marking each with a cross and their ID number.

The Refugee Action Coalition has been told from inside the detention centre that, “The situation is getting worse every day. People can’t stand the situation any more.”

“We are urging the Minister to act on his statements that bridging visas can be used to get people out of detention. Despite the fact that conditions in Darwin and other detention centres grows worse each day, not one asylum seeker or refugee has been released from Darwin or any other detention centre on a bridging visa,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Every day, there are more damaged individuals and we are one day closer to the next successful suicide,” Rintoul said.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713.

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