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March 20, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Two Afghan refugees were taken in handcuffs from Darwin to Christmas Island on the afternoon of Sunday 18 March.

Refugee advocates have called for the immediate end of the use of Christmas Island as a punishment centre and has called for a full inquiry into Serco and its system of harsh, unaccountable, and arbitrary punishments.

Serco has become the judge, jury and jailer of asylum seekers within Australia’s detention regime.

On 17 March, two Afghan refugees were brought from Curtin to Darwin detention centres in handcuffs. On the afternoon of 18 March, they were again handcuffed and shifted from Darwin to Christmas Island.

The two Afghan refugees were first shifted from Darwin to Curtin in September 2010 following the protest breakout of Afghan asylum seekers from the Darwin detention that highlighted long term detention.

The two Afghans have now been in detention for 25 months, yet it is understood that the two Afghans were found to be refugees in March 2011 – a year ago. In the photo, below, taken at the time of the Darwin September 2010 protest, the two are shown, the first on the left and the older man, Sayed, third from left with the white shirt.

“We fear that these two refugees are already in either high security isolation in Red 1 or the White 2 compound. It is an open secret inside the detention centres that Christmas Island is the Devil’s Island, of the government’s detention regime, with the government turning a blind eye to Serco’s arbitrary abuses,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Serco’s ability to punish asylum seekers and refugees without any charge, recourse to the courts or ability to appeal has to end. Serco is an outlaw operation, inflicting severe punishments on people who have committed no crime.

“In late February, an asylum seeker who been staging a protest in a grave dug in the blue 2 compound was “extracted” by the response group and taken to the Red Compound. In January, an asylum seeker transferred to Villawood from Scherger was bashed and had his arm broken after being placed with criminal deportees in stage 1 of the centre.

“Serco must be held to account and the punishment cells on Christmas Island must be closed.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul mob 0417 275 713

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