Thursday, February 25, 2016

More beatings in Australia's gulags

In February 2015, refugees in Australia's Manus Island concentration camp in Papua New Guinea went on hunger strike to protest against their treatment. Australia's response? Send its paid thugs to beat them, leaving some with lasting injuries:

Asylum seekers have also alleged that they were beaten by private security guards during an operation to end a January 2015 Manus Island hunger strike, and have told Fairfax Media in a series of letters that they were jailed in the nearby Lorengau police cells for up to 21 days.

Leaked files from Broadspectrum, the company contracted to run the Manus Island and Nauru centres, support some of the claims of injury and placement in the police cells.

The company's files show detainees sought medical treatment after complaining of nerve pain in their arms, which they claimed was the a result of having their wrists tightly bound by plastic restraints during the hunger strike.

One detainee wrote in a letter that he was kicked in the head by security guards while he was in the Lorengau police cells and was left shirtless during his 21 day stint in the cells. Another said the cells were filthy and that "the toilet sewage would come to where we slept".

An Iraqi asylum seeker has claimed in a letter that he was beaten about the head with a stick by security staff, resulting in damage to his eyesight and the loss of teeth.

Beating people because they peacefully protest against their treatment is not the action of a peaceful and democratic state. Instead, its the action of a tyranny. And that's what Australia's racist, anti-refugee policies are gradually turning it into: a country which uses torture and oppression and threatens to jail those speaking up about it.