Australia's "Pacific solution" of imprisoning refugees in remote gulags in an effort to pschologically torture them into going home has turned into a catalogue of horrors: neglect, beatings and rapes, torture, and murder. And now they've got a new one: systematic sexual abuse:
Asylum seekers have made allegations of sexual abuse of women and children and threats of rape by guards working in the detention centre on Nauru.
One female detainee has detailed her claims to Fairfax Media and Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, including threats that she would be raped if her refugee status was recognised and she was released into the Nauruan community.
The asylum seeker, who asked not to be identified, said guards in the detention centre were saying to female asylum seekers: "If you want to take a shower for more than two minutes, you have to show your body." She also said two guards told her: "When you get out of here, we have a plan for you. We are going to find you and f--- you."
Another asylum seeker alleged an Australian guard said he wanted to have sex with children on the island and forced two underage asylum seekers to perform sexual acts in front on him.
"He tried to have sex with them," she said. "He then made the children have sex with each other."
The Australian government is to blame for this. They dehumanised these people, imprisoned them in an environment where the guards have total power, and made it very clear that there would be no oversight. Which is pretty much a guaranteed recipe for abuse. And we should hold them, as well as the individual guards, accountable for what they've done.