Saturday, March 31, 2012




Saturday 31.3.12.

In a shocking example of the abuse and mismanagement of Australian
detention centres, a mentally ill, Tamil refugee was bashed by Serco
guards at Villawood detention centre in the early hours of Saturday
morning, after being coaxed down from the top of a shipping container.

Around 20 Serco officers were involved in the incident, although it
seems perhaps only five or six were directly involved in the assault.

The man who has suffered torture in Sri Lanka was left severely
traumatised as well as physically injured. He was attended to by an
ambulance and taken to hospital around 1.30am, daylight saving time,
with injuries to his head, face, neck, his hand and legs. He is now at
Liverpool hospital.

The 29 year-old Tamil refugee has been in detention for two and half
years, most recently in the residential housing section of the
Villawood complex.

“Coming just one day after the Parliamentary report, this incident
shows why detention centres should be closed. It is bad enough that
detention creates and exacerbates mental illness, it is disgraceful
that a mentally ill man, should be subject to this kind of abuse, ”
said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Mandatory detention encourages an abusive attitude by guards, while
Serco’s private management gives the government a convenient excuse
for denying its responsibility for abuses in the detention system and
complete lack of accountability

“Chris Bowen should release this man from detention so he can be
properly cared for. There must be a full inquiry into this man’s
beating as well as Serco’s arbitrary system of punishments which
allows asylum seekers to be moved to punishment sections of detention
centres at a whim.

“The Parliamentary inquiry has only revealed the tip of the iceberg of
the human rights’ abuse that is Australia’s detention regime.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713