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Aust.: refugee stranded in psychiatric hospital

6 1/2 years in Immigration Detention leaves refugee stranded in psychiatric hospital

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today visited longterm immigration detainees in the Glenside psychiatric hospital in Adelaide to see for herself the condition of those the government have kept locked up indefinitely.

"One man I met today has been in detention for over six years, and has developed very serious mental and physical illnesses during this difficult time," Senator Nettle said.

"This period of time in detention makes this man another Peter Qasim, the longterm detainee who was recently released after seven years.

"Despite the Palmer report's recommendations regarding the need to release longterm detainees into the community the government continues to hold dozens of detainees who have all but given up hope for release.

"The nature of indefinite mandatory detention has put these men into psychiatric care.

"The men I met with today were mentally well when they where imprisoned by the Immigration Department, but have become sick while in immigration detention.

"The government spends over $3 million each year on psychiatric care at Glenside to treat problems its immigration detention policy has created.

"It costs over $800 per day per detainee to keep them at Glenside hospital, which is a cost incurred as a direct consequence of locking people up at Baxter detention centre."

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