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May 2, 2012


by refugeeactioncoalitionsydney

Refugee advocates have condemned the latest moves by Serco and the Department of Immigration to maintain their extra-judicial punishment of asylum seekers.

Yesterday, (Tuesday 1 May) five asylum seekers were moved from Darwin’s Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) to Christmas Island. Four of them were the long term Iranian asylum seekers who staged a roof top protest at NIDC less than two weeks ago.

“Serco and immigration are making good their threat to ruthlessly punish anyone who is involved in any kind of protest action. This extra-judicial punishment regime is a complete violation of asylum seekers’ human right and it must be stopped,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refuge Action Coalition.

“The protesters have not been charged with any offence yet they are being exiled to punishment compounds on Christmas Island. Serco is becoming the judge, jury and punisher of asylum seekers.

“Serco’s punishment regime is like something out of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ with asylum seekers subjected to isolation and mistreatment in order for them to learn to be compliant with a dysfunctional and damaging detention regime that is literally driving them crazy. The Catch-22 of NIDC is that you would have to be crazy not to protest,” said Rintoul.


“We are also shocked to hear that NIDC is once again being filled with asylum seekers. We were told by DIAC regional manager that NIDC was being closed, yet Afghans from Wickham Point have been moved there and now more people are being there from Christmas Island.

“NIDC is a hell-hole; a nightmare of self-harm and attempted suicides that should be closed.”

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