Monday, October 17, 2016

Australia's concentration camps are torture

What are the effects of being detained indefinitely in an Australian refugee concentration camp? According to Dr Nina Zimmerman, a forensic psychiatrist contracted by the UN to study the issue, they make 81% of their inmates mentally ill:

Recruited by the UN refugee agency due to her expertise with populations in detention, Dr Zimmerman's mission to Nauru required her to interview refugees and asylum seekers within the detention camp and those living in the island's settlements.

She found 81 percent of those she surveyed were suffering disorders due to their indefinite detention, the second highest rate ever recorded in a group of refugees.

"There's been a study done on Syrians who are fleeing and find themselves in central Europe," explained Dr Zimmerman, putting her findings into context.

"These rates are two to three times higher than what you find in those refugees... three times higher than what you see in the imprisoned populations in Australia."

With an 81% mental illness rate, I'd say that the camps reach the threshold of inflicting severe mental pain and suffering. Which makes them torture under international law. These camps are torture camps. They need to be closed, and the people who order, guard and run them need to be prosecuted.