My piece on people held in immigration detention for years without trial was the lead politics story in the Dom Post yesterday, with full acknowledgment of the sourcing. Clearly, I should be feeding journalists more often. OK, so it was Boxing Day, when people have better things to do than read the papers, but a story is still going to gain far more readers through the much-maligned "mainstream media" than it is in the blogosphere. And this is a story which deserves a lot of attention. Our government is detaining people indefinitely without charge or trial. That is something we strongly disapprove of when the Americans or third-world despots do it; we should not be doing it here.
Meanwhile, the government just doesn't want to talk about it:
The department refused to answer questions about the individual circumstances of each detainee, other than to say that all of the detainees were aged over 17.
And its easy to see why. Once these people have names, faces, histories, they can gain public sympathy, just like Ahmed Zaoui, Thomas Yadegary, or Takshila. Better then (from a bureaucratic point of view) to do everything in secret - just as the Americans tried to do at Guantanamo. Its just so much easier when you don't have the pesky public looking over your shoulder and asking awkward questions.
We need to ask those awkward questions. We need to find out who these people are and why they are facing deportation. Then we can force the government to front up and try and explain why it thinks indefinite detention is justified - and hopefully force a change in policy.