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Mum's The Word On Australia Detention

Thi Hoai Thu, a Vietnamese Asylum Seeker, women, 39, is currently held under guard by DIMIA at a secret location somewhere in Perth, awaiting the birth of her first-born child, a son.

Thi Hoai Thu, is kept underground by DIMIA, along with her husband Minh Dat and his mother Thi Tu (born 1930).

DIMIA will not unveil the whereabouts, even to close family members nor will they allow any visitors to the family at the hidden address.

Grandma,Thi Tu was taken out of an alternative community detention arrangement by DIMIA to live with her son and his wife in what is oddly described by DIMIA as `home style detention'. There are no other homes like this in Australia.

Thi Tu had been able to receive visitors, practice her religion and make calls unhindered during the recent month the Vietnamese Community in Perth cared for her, after media in Perth publicized her incarceration at the Perth Detention Center alongside 14 men.

The 3 are isolated by DIMIA with no telephone access to the outside world. It is only when they are taken under guard from the secret location to the Perth Airport Detention center are they able to communicate with anyone other than themselves and the private GSL security guards.

It is difficult to know how the family is able to communicate with the guards other than thru telephone interpreter services. Given the female medical issues involved with both Hoai Thu and Thi Tu there are serious concerns that this arrangement does allow them to speak freely should any acute health problems arise.

I believe that this is no way to treat a lady especially one that is pregnant. I have repeatedly been met with a stonewall by DIMIA in my attempts to make sure Hoai Thu is able to have proper care and less stress in the last critical stage of her pregnancy.

Thi Hoai fled Vietnam and arrived at Port Headland aboard the Hao Kiet in July 2003 and the Australian Government sent the boats passengers to the specifically reopened detention center on Christmas Island.

Expectant mother, Thi Hoai Thu, Thi will soon join the rank of mother with the 5 mothers who have been held in detention on Christmas Island since July 2003.

Thi Hoai's, Aunty, who has been living in Australia for 26 years, wants to come to Perth to be with her niece and assist in the last stage of the pregnancy.

Culturally female mentoring is a very important aspect of maternity and birth for Vietnamese women. Sadly the restrictions placed on Thi Hoai will mean that the Aunty will be unable to fulfill her role under custom.

The family of Refugee Baby Amy, who was born in detention, are Minh Dat and Thi Hoai's cousins. Amy's family, was recently released from detention and are now living in Perth. They are unable to have any contact visits with the expectant family unless they go to the Perth Detention Center.

However in the meantime DIMIA are determined that they know best and argue that a women in Thi Hoai's condition should be locked up in seclusion.

It is a shameful reflection on Australian standards of decency and proper care, that this family is kept hidden under lock and key.

In Australia, on Mothers Day we have a picture of plump pillows and toast and tea in bed. For the Mums behind the razor wire life could not be anything more different. The asylum seeker women wake each day with their children with the cold empty thought of not knowing what will become of their families.

I want the women of Australia to realize the 'media lock out' by our government from detention centers, prevents Aussie mums from witnessing and objecting to the cruel and degrading treatment of `our sisters' who care for their children in the most difficult of circumstances.

© Scoop Media

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