THE federal government is apparently prepared to allow officials of a foreign country (India) to enter Curtin detention centre but our own elected parliamentary representative, Senator Hanson Young, is barred.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has expressed disquiet with Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and the president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, and a team of mental health experts say there is a mental health crisis on Christmas Island, confirming multiple suicide attempts and self-harm incidents (The Age, July 24).
Asylum seekers imprisoned in Australia’s detention centres have committed no crime, they are not “illegal” under international law but are entitled to have their claims for asylum assessed.
Some have been waiting for indefinite and extended periods without assessment and have no way of knowing when or if their claims will be processed.
This uncertainty leads to hopeless despair and mental illness.
It is cruel, costly and in no one’s interest.
The government’s strategy for implementing its policy is to withhold information from the media and the public, justifying this by the pretence of some sort of quasi-military operation directed at a fictional threat to Australia’s security.
They know that while the human faces of innocent men, women and children can be hidden, the simple slogans that appeal to fear will generate political support for authoritarian, inhumane actions.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.