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Port Hedland Asylum Seeker Released From Isolation

Rural Australians for Refugees
Media Alert

9 December 2003
2.55pm

Port Hedland asylum seeker released from isolation - reports beatings and tear-gas

An asylum seeker who was taken to isolation in Port Hedland detention centre following Thursday night's riot which was caused because Perth School girls were prevented from visiting their friends in detention, was released yesterday evening. He is willing to talk to the media.

Babar, has reported having his head hit against his cell wall 4 or 5 times a day for the past four days. He said some asylum seekers detained in Juliet Block had been stripped of all clothes, handcuffed, beaten and tear gassed in their cells. "It was too noisy," Babar said. "Very big crying."

Babar reported being given inadequate amounts of food, being kept in very cold conditions with no bedding, and being denied medication.

The 21 asylum seekers remaining in isolation are now on a hunger strike.

For more detailed information and to be put in contact with witnesses please call Rural Australians for Refugees on 0428549115.

Further information:

There are minimum standards required for keeping people in isolation. In the past Juliet Block, the isolation unit at the Port Hedland detention centre, has been found by a HREOC report (No. 24 or 2002) of breaching articles 9 (1) and 10 (1) of the UN's ICCPR (International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights.) Babar's reports confirm that these minimum standards are again being breached.


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