Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Australia wants to beat refugees to death

Australia's Pacific refugee gulags are already brutal places, home to sexual abuse and institutionalised torture. And now the Australian government wants to make them even more brutal, by giving its hired goons the legal power to beat refugees to death:

A new law giving security guards in detention centres power to cause grievous bodily harm if they "reasonably believe" it is necessary to protect life or prevent injury is likely to encourage abuse of and violence against asylum seekers in detention, a Senate committee has been told.

Former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal Stephen Charles QC said the law allowed security guards to use lethal force "with impunity" because it would be "almost impossible" for them to face prosecution in the courts.

"These amendments will authorise detention centre guards to beat asylum seekers to death if they reasonably believe it is necessary to do so to save either themselves or another person from serious harm," he said.

As the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre points out, giving untrained goons the right to beat people is a recipe for abuse. But then, that's the point, isn't it? To "deter" refugees from seeking refuge in Australia by making their life a living hell of abuse and hopelessness. That's not what decent countries do, but its been clear for a long, long time that Australia isn't a decent country anymore. They ethnicly cleanse their indigenous people, they torture refugees, they detain children indefinitely. Beating refugees to death pour encourager les autres just seems like more of the same.

As for what to do about it, rather than spending ANZAC Day celebrating a century of shared military servitude to foreign powers, maybe we should use it to reassess our relationship with Australia - and tell them to fuck off until they are willing to behave like decent human beings.