Aust.: growing discontent, Baxter detention centre
Greens concerned about growing discontent in Baxter
Victorian Greens Spokesperson on Refugees, Peter Job, today
expressed his concerns about growing discontent amongst
asylum seekers about their treatment in Baxter detention
centre due to the
Intransigent policies of the Department of Immigration and its subcontractor Global Solutions Limited.
Mr. Job explained that he had just completed a three day visit to Baxter, during which he met with over twenty detainees from a variety of backgrounds.
“Despite claims from the Department to be cleaning up its act, the detainees I spoke to claimed the situation in Baxter is actually getting worse, giving consistent accounts of increasingly repressive and heavy handed treatment by management,” Mr. Job said.
“They spoke of increasingly intrusive and undignified searches of their bodies and property, especially when accessing the visitor’s compound. They spoke of run down facilities, where broken telephones, kitchen items and leisure facilities were not fixed for months, despite continued requests from detainees. They also continued to complain about the appalling quality of the food, which they claimed had not improved despite the Minister’s assurances to the contrary.
“Above all they pointed to a culture in which their opinions and complaints are belittled and ignored, where incidents of discontent are further provoked rather than deescalated, and in which detainees are given little respect as human beings.”
Mr. Job also pointed to the continued use of the infamous Red One isolation compound as an indication of increasing tensions.
“Six people have been incarcerated in Red One in recent weeks. While some had damaged property, others were sent there for doing no more than kick over chairs. The detainees involved explained that they had only finally done so in utter frustration after numerous attempts to reason with management had failed.
“It is astonishing that a country such as Australian that claims to respect human rights and dignity should continue to incarcerate people for years under these appalling conditions.”