EMERGENCY ACTION TO STOP FORCED REMOVALS- Self Harm at Broadmeadows Detention Over Possible Removals to Nauru

Media release – for immediate release

Self-harm at Broadmeadows Detention Centre over possible removals to Nauru

‘Rumours of removal to Nauru from Melbourne for a group of 20 asylum seekers have led to multiple incidents of self-harm.’ said Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective ‘With the Immigration Department refusing to clarify the rumours, two women swallowed washing powder yesterday evening (07/06/15) and another took an overdose of medication, all were taken to hospital’

Breen continued ‘The group of twenty includes ten children, two babies, and people in need of treatment for serious mental health problems’

‘Refusing to answer asylum seekers questions about possible removals is extremely cruel. It follows closely after 20 guards forced a family including a newborn baby back to Nauru at 4.30am in the morning on Thursday June 4. This removal led to a young mother climbing onto the roof in panic to hang herself. She fell from the roof injuring her back. Another man struggling with difficult memories tried to kill himself.’

‘The Abbott government and Immigration Department are again showing that their inhumanity towards people in desperate need knows no bounds. The government’s own Moss report found substantial evidence of sexual abuse including abuse of children in detention on Nauru, and of women being forced to strip for guards to access showers. Instead of closing the detention hell-hole that produced this abuse the Coalition government with bipartisan support has brought in laws that could jail doctors and teachers for up to two years if they publically report such abuse.’

‘Attached are some of the pictures of conditions in detention in Nauru. It is not just the brutal conditions and the attacks against refugees that have taken place on Nauru that asylum seekers and refugees fear, but having their lives and their children’s lives left in limbo without a future.’

‘Cambodia is no solution for refugees on Nauru. Though the Abbott government has effectively bribed four people to go to Cambodia with offers of money and fast tracking of refugee claims, Cambodia is not safe for refugees. Hun Sen has ruled Cambodia for 30 years, and according to Human Rights Watch “For three decades, Hun Sen has repeatedly used political violence, repression, and corruption to remain in power”‘. Cambodia is a poverty stricken country without affordable or accessible health care, and has returned refugees to persecution.’

‘We demand all transfers to Nauru are stopped permanently. Nauru and Manus Island must be closed and all asylum seekers and refugees brought to Australia.’

For further comment call Chris Breen for the Refugee Action Collective on 0403 013 183