Sunday, January 15, 2012


Today a man lies in the dirt curled up and clutching the the wire fence at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA). He was there all last night in the cold. He is not eating or drinking. One of the teenage boys put a blanket on him last night. A guards stands watch as he is on PSP- I cant keep up with the acronyms- it used to be called SASH watch (Suicide and Self -Harm) The man said - " I am animal - they treat me like animal so I am animal." He has been recognised and accepted as a refugee, five months ago. He is waiting for the SECURITY CHECK or that is what he is told. It is hard to know where the decisions sit after they are made. Whose desk drawer holds these decisions while people rot and go mad in detention. Recently his father died in his home country. perhaps this is what has tipped him over the edge. Yesterday he was visited once again by his DIAC case manager who told him yet again that he has no information and that he must be "patient". So 24 hours later he lies shivering and dehydrated in the dirt, unable to think of anything but holding on to the wire fence and waiting... 8pm. Reason and compassion have intervened. He is no longer on the ground. He is either in hospital or in his room. The problem remains as thousands of people rot in detention waiting for decisions which could be made in months but instead take years take years. This is the 20th Anniversary of Mandatory Detention. How much longer will our government continue this cruel expensive system? ENOUGH. -- Pamela Curr Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre