Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Marat and his mum in hospital after trying to jump from the audience hall

Posted to the coordrac list by Jamal

The 9 day of Aminov's hunger strike was dramatic. As expected, son Marat had tried to commit desperate act by trying to jump from the audience hall to the main hall. Luckily he was stopped by parliament security before he hurt himself.
He was then taken to Canberra hospital for treatment of back pain in result of 3 security jumping on his back trying to stop his movement.
Then his mother was taken to hospital as she collapsed after hearing that her only son could have hurt himself. She is currently in Belconnen hospital for dehydration and treatment for Diabetes and hypertension.
Son Marat was released from hospital and he will be back (with his father) to continue their hunger strike outside the Federal parliament tomorrow.
Please take an action to support the family. You can call the minister on 6277 7860 or fax him on 6273 4144 or simply sign the petition on
Jamal Daoud
(attached is the pic of Alija in hospital after collapsing outside the parliament)

The inquiry was sparked by the illegal detention of mentally ill Australian resident Cornelia Rau

Govt flags compensation for 191 wrongful detentions

Posted Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:28pm AEDT
Updated Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:31pm AEDT

The Federal Government may compensate as many as 191 people for wrongfully holding them in immigration detention centres, a parliamentary hearing has been told.

A Government ombudsman last year reported that 247 Australian citizens, permanent residents and legal visa holders were incorrectly detained by the Immigration Department between 1993 and 2007.

The inquiry was sparked by the illegal detention of mentally ill Australian resident Cornelia Rau for more than 10 months in 2004 and 2005 and the wrongful deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Solon to the Philippines.

The chief lawyer for the department, Robyn Bicket, said the department had now reviewed all the cases.

"Currently we are at 191 cases [where] we believe there is risk of legal liability for compensation and 56 cases where we believe there is no compensatable risk involved," she told a Senate estimates hearing.

Ms Bicket said that the department had offered compensation in 40 cases and settlements had been reached in 17 instances.

The Immigration Department says it has paid out just over $4 million in the past financial year to 14 Australian citizens who were wrongfully held.

More than half the money was paid to Cornelia Rau.

The payouts are separate from the $1.2 million the department has paid to 17 other Australians who were also wrongfully detained.

The Howard government adopted a controversial policy towards asylum seekers and illegal immigrants, making immigration detention mandatory even for children.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Long-term detainees deported to danger. Refugee Groups Call For Minister to
stop the deportations

Dear All,

below is a press release that was put out today (Tuesday) regarding the
on-going deportations - actually there
are not only long term asylum seekers being deported. Another young Indian
man faces deportation on 26

With Zac, we were able to get him back into legal process and his appeal
from the RRT to the Federal
Magistrates Court is on Friday. But in the longer run, there needs to be a
fundamental change in the way both
long termers and deportations are dealt with by Evans amnd the Department.



Long-term detainees deported to danger. Refugee Groups Call For Minister to
stop the deportations

Refugee groups have called on the Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, to
stop the deportation of long-term
detainees and live up to Australia’s obligation not to return asylum
seekers to danger.

“Australia has an obligation to long term detainees,” said Ian Rintoul,
spokesperson for the Refugee Action
Coalition. “Chris Evans knows that many are asylum seekers are deported to
danger, yet he is signing off on
these deportations.

“He also recognizes the damage that is caused by long term detention.
Humanitarian consideration alone
should be enough for the Minister to intervene. He should, be setting an
example to the Department. But his
actions make a mockery of his claim that there is cultural change in the
Immigration department.“

Over the last few weeks, two long term Indian asylum seekers, Harinder and
Avtar, have been deported from Villawood. Both were detained when they arrived in India.

One Indian man, Avtar, deported from Australia in late August was detained,
beaten and threatened in three
different cities and was only released when his parents paid a 14,000 rupee

Now, another long-term detainee, Zakir Hussain Baghban, an Indian asylum
seeker, is facing deportation after
being held at Villawood for over three years.

Zakir is threatened with deportation to the Western Indian region of
Gujarat, where his family home was burned
down in anti-Muslim riots in 2002. There have been bombings there as
recently as 16 September 2008.

“The failings of the refugee determination process under the Howard
government means that many of those
facing deportation have not been legally represented or had the chance to
properly put their case to the
Minister. There is no room for mistakes when you are dealing with asylum
seekers – mistakes can cost lives.
One mistake is one too many,” said Ian Rintoul.

“When Harinder was deported the Minister’s office indicated that the
question of long term would be reviewed.
We are still waiting. The Minister has wide discretionary powers to
intervene. He needs to act urgently to stop
the deportations and review all the cases of the long-term detainees.”

For more information:
contact Refugee Action Coalition, Ian Rintoul: 0417 275 713.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey peeps,

I am travelling out to Villawood this coming Sunday 28 September 2008. Wanna come with?

Meet 1pm this Sunday, Central Station, Hungry Jacks (up near the Countrylink platforms)

Turn up at Central, or meet us at Leightonfield station about 2-2:30...

norrie mAy-welby
Hey peeps,

I am travelling out to Villawood this coming Sunday 28 September 2008. Wanna come with?

Meet 1pm this Sunday, Central Station, Hungry Jacks (up near the Countrylink platforms)

Turn up at Central, or meet us at Leightonfield station about 2-2:30...

norrie mAy-welby

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Refugee and Migrant Sunday

This is the first homily I've delivered in church, which happened this morning...

On this Sunday declared by the National Council of Churches in Australia to be Refugee and Migrant Sunday, there seems to be a common thread in the readings about migration, about what moves us to move, and our shared history of co-mingling migrations on this sacred earth.

Moses, whose story today was about him receiving the instruction and authority to migrate his people, an arguably pivotal point in Exodus ; ) married an Ethiopian woman, and had to survive racist jibes from his sister in law (who was then struck with leprosy, seen in this context as God’s vengeance for her racism).
Moses asks God on whose authority he can say the migration is on, like, when the people ask, who says so, who can Moses say says so, and God replies “I AM AS I AM. This is what you will tell the Isaelites. “I AM has sent me to you”

The footnote in the Inclusive Bible says, the phrase translated as “I am as I am,” (in Ancient Hebrew) Ehyeh asher Ehyeh is difficult, and may mean “The One who Brings Things Into Being”, “The One Who Is”, or “I will be however I will be”

The One Who Brings Things Into Being, the will to live, to freedom, perhaps the fire in the belly of those brave enough to leave familiar lands to seek freedom from tyranny, or the will to live that drives people to extraordinary lengths in carrying their families away from destruction such as that wrought by us, Australia, on Iraq, and by various other countries driven by greed, insecurity, or populist agendas?

Of course, I especially like the bit where God asks Moses to take his shoes off, as he is standing on sacred ground. I’m not telling anyone else to take their shoes off, God speaks to each person differently, but to me God says, keep your feet bare to the earth, to the ground that supports you, and to the connection you have with the whole planet that your physical and emotional being is part of.

The land belongs to God, all land belongs to God, as do all humans. Boundaries are a human invention, and if we pay homage to them over our common humanity, we disrespect God’s creation.

In Matthew, Jesus rebukes Peter for setting his mind “not on the things of God, but of mortals”, and moreover, calls him “you Satan”. God’s will for us is not always congruent with mortal concerns about material comfort, or about borders and security.

I first got involved in refugee and immigration detention issues because I was following my inner camp fire. For over a decade, I had been travelling to the hippy festival Confest every New Year and Easter, but they are a day’s travel away on the Victorian border, and when I saw a poster for the trip to Baxter in 2005 to demonstrate against the detention gulag there, I jumped at the chance to combine social camping and social justice. And rediscovered that social bonus in working with people who do good: They are good people!

I put on a benefit gig for my birthday party that year, fundraising for the Refugee Action Coalition to advertise a rally, and talked the gorgeous Asian Dancing Boys into doing a show with me. Doing good is its own reward, but I do appreciate the side benefits : )

God’s communication has progressed from burning bushes, and my next step was obvious from an email from a refugee detained in Villawood, in response to a letter to the Star Observer about the fundraiser. This refugee asked me to walk my talk and visit him, so I followed the call, and travelled out to the razor wire complex hidden in an industrial zone out in Western Sydney, with dodgy train connections and the rail buses on more often than not, trudging a kilometer in all weather, rain, wind, rain and wind, in winter, or beating summer sun, putting up with the loss of dignity that is part of the processing for visitors, filling in intrusive maybe tricky forms, being searched in case you’re trying to smuggle in such contraband as your housekeys or a cigarette lighter (just hide them under a metal belt buckle is the method ; ) going back to the counter-intuitive electronic lockers because you forgot to leave your purse there, and finally being tagged and stamped before going through three locked gates to the all-weather visitors area, where all weather blows through and rains on, a few sparse pagodas and no walls.

But the people you meet! And the stories they share! What fire must burn for those who have survived heroic and traumatic journeys of escape. How blasphemous then for them to be locked up by our bureaucrats, their stories doubted, their good will questioned, their very humanity ignored for the sake of demonstrating our government’s commitment to border security, as thousands of tonnes of drugs and weapons and other contraband are routinely smuggled across our porous borders, and as we beg hundreds of thousands of foreigners to move here to serve our “skilled migration” needs, while less than one percent of that number are held in soul-crushing limbo for the show of border protection… and xenophobia…

It’s not comfortable visiting Villawood, but its less terminal than crucifixion. I face the evil, that’s what razor wires and caging humans is to me, I face the evil every month, but I get to walk back out again. And I get to work with other social justice activists, and this is most gruntling to me, meaningful connections with people who choose to lead meaningful lives, committed to the well being and honouring of our common humanity, or, if you like, to honouring the sacred dignity of each of God’s creations.

When an alien resides with you in your land, you shall not oppress the alien. The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

This is quoted in a piece from the Uniting Church I found on its website, which goes on to say:

From its beginnings the Hebrew story was the story of a people in exile, of aliens resident in foreign lands suffering oppression and persecution. This history of exile and exodus, particularly the escape from slavery in Egypt, revealed to the Israelites the nature of their God and defined their relationship with God and other people. Throughout the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), God is identified as the God who cares for the exiled and the persecuted refugee. Hospitality to the stranger became one of the strongest moral forces in ancient Israel.

The Christian story continued to uphold God's call to solidarity with the homeless. Mary and Joseph were forced to take Jesus and hide in Egypt as Herod sought to kill the baby Jesus.

Jesus travelled through strange lands, choosing to spend time and share meals with the most marginalised and oppressed people of his society. He called on people to love their enemies, give all they had to the poor, and offer hospitality to strangers. He taught that faithful obedience to God was marked by such deeds. In fact, it would be the way people responded to strangers and to the poor that would identify them as people of faith.

There is no question about the Christian response to asylum seekers and refugees. The Church is called to be a place of welcome. As faithful disciples we are to provide care and comfort to those who come to this land as strangers, seeking safety.

The Uniting Church advocates for a just response to the needs of refugees that recognises Australia's responsibilities as a wealthy global citizen, upholds the human rights and safety of all people, and is based on just and humane treatment, including non-discriminatory practices and accountable transparent processes.
To which I add, No Borders! No Nations! No Deportations!

Monday, August 25, 2008

from my friend Rachel Evans .., a fellow staunch human rigths activist.. Villawood Detention Centre is a privatised concentration camp in Syndey's west. Whatever your views on immigration and caging people, the number of people held by immigration is less than one percent of the number of people encouraged to come here on skilled migration programs. They are but token victims of the need for politicians to be elected by voters fearful of foreigners. This may be human animal behaviour, but it is not civilised behaviour.
Anyway, here's Rach:

A reportback on Sunday's 24th August Villawood visit

Norrie, myself , Kelly, Malula, Adam (Metropolitan Community Church), Laurel (RAC Melb) visited Villawood Detention Centre (VDC) and found many of our contacts gone. Many have been released into the community. Some deported.

One detainee told us 2 months ago there was around 250 people in VDC. Two months ago the government granted many of the 2yearly detainees status. Conversely, many of the 3 year detainees were deported. All Indians were deported, most Africans released into the community & many Chinese were released at the beginning of the Olympics. There are now 150 people in VDC.

One month ago, many more were released into the community - but on Bridging E visas - which have no work, social security, Medicare or study rights. However, said our source, many of those Bridging E Visas are being converted to permanent residency - out of 5 of his friends who have got out - 4 now have permanent residency.

But there has been a HUGE turnover of detainees over the last 1.5 month period with a huge amount of new faces. Our source says 900 people have gone through VDC in the last 2 months. These new people are not, like before, being nabbed from the streets/ workplaces by cops and put in detention but they are being stopped at the airport. Immigration is stopping people from poor countries & checking if they have credit cards. If not, and they cant show wads of cash - Immigration have been throwing them in VDC for a night then deporting them. One case we heard of was of two Korean tourists whose friends bought $20,000 in cash to show to Immigration. They were still deported!?! Looks like real tight border control against the poor is Rudd's new anti-refugee intake policy.

501s - of which there were 10 in Stage 1 - were all released last week. There were rumors about Stage One being closed cos there are only 6 people left there. There is only one woman left in VDC, said another detainee , after- a woman who was in VDC for 6 years ( !?gods!?) got released last Friday. This last woman is in isolated conditions in the women's LIMA block.

Of the detainees still remaining - and there are still detainees - they are being asked for HUGE bonds with their Bridging E Visas - $10,000 or $20,000 surety. Terrible. One of the African Pilgrims has been given status - 2 remain awaiting hearings.

So work still to be done. We are trying to get info on if all the people released have been put on Bridging E Visas. The demand for Work Rights is real vital in this period. We are a way away from closing all the camps....There were 2 deportations that happened last week at VDC - apart from Harinda Kavinder - a Vietnamese man. Xmas Island needs to close. Mandatory detention is still in place. Australia has a paltry human rights intake. More work needs to be done. But there are many people who have been granted status in this last period - a result of lots of hard work from all of us!

In struggle & solidarity,
Rachel Evans


Monday, September 03, 2007

Queer Activist wins landmark case against Refugee Review Tribunal

Hooray for Motahar and all those who supported him directly or indirectly! We acted against the cautions of many do-gooders and right-wing Christians (a tautology, it seems to me, but they swarm into Villawood and tell people to just pray and wait and not rock the system. They must have a way different gospel to the one I read about the radical social justice advocate nailed up for sedition). They didn't want us to go public, but going public got Motahar the support he needed to get over the line. The truth will set you free!----------------------------------------------------------
Monday 3 September 2007

Press release

Queer Activist wins landmark case against Refugee Review Tribunal.

Motahar Hussein, a queer Bangladeshi man locked up in Villawood Detention Centre for two and a half years was finally granted permanent residency on Friday 31 st August. Hussein was rejected twice by the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT) yet supported by Federal Magistrates Courtand Federal Court decisions. Hussein's third RRT hearing on Friday 31st finally admitted if Motahar went back to Bangladeshhe would 'experience trouble'. This signaled the RRT granting Hussein permanent residency. Keeping Motahar Hussein locked up for two and a half years, fighting against his legal challenges has cost the Howard government an estimated $1 million dollars.  

If sent home Hussein would have suffered persecution. Bangladeshis a predominantly Muslim country with a homophobic law on the penal code - Section 377 which makes 'intercourse against the order of nature' - a crime.

Early within his detention, Motahar Hussein led a successful hunger strike inside Villawood demanding copies of the Migration Act for detainees. He led successful action against Global Solutions Ltd and Delware North Limited who were using detainees for slave labour. When Motahar Hussein was released on a Bridging E Visa in early 2007 he became active in Community Action Against Homophobia's (CAAH) campaign for marriage rights, civil unions and adoption rights. He was elected as CAAH's refugee officer and led a successful campaign against the ban of gay publications SX and SSO within Villawood Detention Centre. Motahar became involved in climate action campaigning as well.

Rachel Evans, CAAH Secretary said "Howard and previous ALP Federal governments have tortured people like Motahar through their policy of mandatory detention. The Refugee Review Tribunal has been refusing many queers and sending many people back to danger. They are an arm of the government's inhumane detention policy.   Motahar's recent victory over the RRT and his victories against slave labor policy within detention show that if we fight we can win. CAAH thanks all those in the community who helped with the campaign to free Motahar Hussein and then to win his permanent visa status. We hope this victory will flow onto the campaign to Free Ali Humayun and end discrimination against all asylum seekers."

Thursday, May 10, 2007


by Harley Dennett



Greens senator Kerry Nettle has met with a Villawood detainee in a same-sex relationship who claims his brother would kill him to preserve the family honour if he returned to Pakistan.

Nettle is used to visiting detention centres around Australia, a long-time advocate for those in the care of the state.

But even she was surprised during Friday’s visit to find 26-year-old Ali Humayun behind three barbed wire fences in the maximum security Stage One for people who have previously spent time in prison.

“Ali is just a sweet kid, he doesn’t have a criminal record, he doesn’t belong in there,” Nettle said.

Humayun’s placement in Stage One is due to an anonymously written note to the centre’s staff alleging his intention to escape.

Nettle intends to take up the matter at senate estimates later this month, but said his placement in Stage One is just one of many troubling facets of the case.

“If Ali had been represented, the matter would probably have been cleared up at the Migration Review Tribunal, and if not then at the Refugee Review Tribunal,” Nettle said.

“If this matter had been dealt with properly Ali would have graduated and be working in IT by now.”

In rejecting the application for a protection visa, RRT member Giles Short wrote he believed Humayun’s claim of having a homosexual relationship while in detention was “contrived”.

“Having regard to the fact that the only real relationship he claims to have had with a man began after he was detained, I do not accept that the applicant is in fact bisexual in sexual orientation as he claims,” Short wrote.

“I consider that his relationship is simply the product of the situation where only partners of the same sex are available and says nothing about his sexual orientation.

“I am not satisfied that the applicant’s conduct in telling his family about his claimed bisexuality and his claimed relationship was engaged in otherwise than for the purpose of strengthening his claim to be a refugee.”

In 2000, before he was an applicant refugee behind a series of six-metre high fences, Humayun was a Pakistani national in Australia on a student visa to obtain a diploma in information technology. A year later he was accepted into a bachelor program at the University of Canberra.

Troubled by events from his past, Humayun said he became depressed and failed a semester in 2002, threatening his student visa. Humayun said the faculty accepted his explanation and his grades improved, but the immigration department still moved to cancel his visa.

“It was just 20 minutes into the meeting with immigration that my visa was cancelled,” Humayun said.

Caught working on a bridging visa, Humayun was brought to Villawood, and initially placed in the less secure Stage Two.

After the anonymous letter led to his being moved to Stage One, Humayun began a relationship with fellow detainee Julio Lorenzo.

“The other [detainees] knew we were together because we shared a bed every night. They’d get drunk on smuggled alcohol and yell ‘faggot’ at us,” Humayun said.

“I came out to my family, but the reaction wasn’t good. My mother and sister support me, but my father and brother are very fundamentalist Muslim.”

Humayun claimed his brother would attempt to “take care of him” in the name of the family honour if he returned to Pakistan.

The couple were separated a few months ago when Lorenzo was granted a permanent visa. He continues to visit Humayun several times a week.

Holding hands with Humayun under the table during Nettle’s meeting, Lorenzo said he was not allowed to be present at the RRT hearing that dismissed his and Humayun’s relationship.

Humayun did not have a lawyer present at his appeal to the MRT, and did not feel his Legal Aid-appointed representative at the RRT did enough to push his case.

“Going back would never be easy; it’s not an option,” Humayun said.

Humayun came to the attention of Nettle after he sent a letter detailing his plight to activist group Communication Action Against Homophobia. The group smuggled a camera phone into the detention centre to take pictures of the couple and have arranged regular visits of support.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Bisexuality a result of detention, detainee told

This is the same Ali whose story is already blogged here

Ali Humayun, right, with his partner … he fears deportation.

From today's Sydney Morning Herald, sourced at

Story by Erik Jensen

May 9, 2007

A MAN seeking asylum on the grounds that he would be persecuted as a bisexual Christian in Pakistan was denied refugee status because authorities ruled he was bisexual only as a result of being locked up with other men.

Giles Short, the Refugee Review Tribunal member who made the decision, said in his finding: "the applicant was not in fact bisexual … [his relationship] was simply the product of the situation where only partners of the same sex were available and said nothing about his sexual orientation."

He said this was the case in many relationships in prisons and detention centres.

In evidence to the tribunal, Ali Humayun said he and his partner had discussed marriage. But Mr Short dismissed this as "a contrived attempt to make their relationship appear more serious".

His findings were upheld by the Federal Magistrates Court on February 19, which said the decision on Mr Humayun's sexuality had been a "finding of fact".

Mr Humayun came to Australia in 2000 to study information technology and has spent more than two years in Villawood Detention Centre. He said he began his first same-sex relationship before entering the centre. At the time of his tribunal hearing, he identified as bisexual, but now said he was gay.

Mr Humayun says he is the only openly gay detainee at Villawood - his partner has been granted asylum. He says he is persecuted daily by detainees, but fears worse in Pakistan. "I'm worried for my life if I am deported home," he said. "The men in my family, they are really fundamentalist types. Muslims. My lifestyle is totally in contrast to what they believe."

Pakistani civil law punishes gay sex with jail terms of between two years and life. Under Islamic law, homosexuals can face 100 lashes or death by stoning.

Mr Humayun said he converted to Christianity after the attacks of September 11, 2001. The tribunal rejected that claim on the grounds that he could not answer questions such as naming the first four books of the New Testament, and had not actively pursued the religion in detention.

Mr Humayun was detained after he was caught working on a bridging visa. His appeal for asylum has been rejected by the Department of Immigration and the tribunal. He is writing to the Minister for Immigration, Kevin Andrews, requesting he intervene on humanitarian grounds.

The Greens senator Kerry Nettle, who met Mr Humayun on Friday, said she would raise the case with the minister. She was concerned Mr Humayun was in a part of Villawood usually reserved for people with criminal records. "It's like a prison," she said. "All of the other detainees have been convicted of criminal offences, apart from him."

Mr Humayun said he was moved when guards received an anonymous, hand-written note saying he was planning to escape. He said he asked to see the note, but it was never shown to him.

A tribunal spokeswoman declined to comment on the case, citing confidentiality provisions in the Migration Act. Mr Andrews was unavailable for comment.

In 2003 the High Court ruled that a Bangladeshi couple should not be deported as they would face persecution for being gay.

Mr Humayun said: "I am hopeful, but at this stage I have realistic expectations. I don't expect to be getting out soon."

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Young gay man suffering homophobic abuse in refugee detention

Warning: This is a heartbreaker. I wish he didn't think he had to go into so much detail to plead his case. But, it's not my job to edit his story, just honor it. It's breaking my heart cos I've met the guy, and haven't talked with him, cos he's just hung around silently, but God, now I know all this about him, okay, deep breath, enough about me, here's the story as Rachel posted it:

This is Ali's story. He would love it for people to call him/ visit him/ publish his case. Community Action Against Homophobia (CAAH) will visit/ do an action soon. Rachel Evans 0403 798 420.

ALI B HUMAYUN - (DOB: 29 / 01 / 1981) Detention ID: VW10883 Stage 1, Villawood Immigration Detention Centre -15 Birmingham Avenue - Villawood NSW 2163. Mob: 0434 109 387

Dear Rachael,
I heard about your organization (Community Action Against Homophobia) through someone I met here at the detention centre (at Villawood). He used to be my cellmate at one point and was released into the Australian community a few months ago. I write to you because I feel that your organization may be able to offer some assistance. Let me briefly describe my circumstances. I am a Pakistani national. I traveled to Australia in early 2000 on a Student visa. I was enrolled at the University of Canberra where I studied for three (3) years before dropping out owing to depression.

I was born into a conventional Pakistani household. My father was a military officer (is now retired) and mum was a teacher. She still teaches. I remember living as a toddler in a military neighborhood with my family. This neighborhood was comprised of families just like mine, where the fathers were all military officers. Since the age of six (possibly earlier) I began being sexually assaulted and abused. I was put through many years of systematic sexual abuse at the hands of an organized, closely-knit network of pedophiles. These predators were male servants assigned to my father and to my mates' fathers as help around the house (cleaners, cooks, drivers etc).

They (the pedophiles) would get us together at either my house or one of my mates' (while our parents would be at work), and would then sexually abuse us and have group intercourse with us. My mates and I were made to have intercourse with each other, as well as with all these adult men who were abusing us. At other times I was abused and assaulted by myself, at home, sometimes by one and sometimes by multiple attackers. All my life I suffered in silence. I never told a soul about what was happening to me.

I somehow graduated high school and came to Australia to pursue further (university) study. My first sexual encounter with a girl was in 2002, at university in Australia. Vivid memories of years of sexual abuse suddenly surfaced as a result and I went into deep depression. I was unable to function in bed with my then girlfriend and our relationship soon crumbled. I never told her what was wrong with me or what I had suffered in the past. I was unable to hold down a job, unable to cope with the pressures of uni (assignment deadlines, exam preparations etc), and unable to function as an adult in general. I soon withdrew from society and isolated myself in my room on university campus, and abused alcohol daily. I was expelled from university in 2003, and in January 2005 I was brought to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre. I have been resident here since.

A year and a half ago I began a same-sex relationship with a fellow inmate / detainee. He is of Spanish origin and was recently released into the community after having his permanent residence reinstated. He continues to regularly visit me at the detention centre and our relationship is strong and thriving. I have been feeling very down and depressed again lately, for about two months (the period of time my boyfriend has been outside in the community). I am the only person here at the detention centre that is known to be currently involved in a same-sex relationship. I am taunted and tormented by majority of the detainees as a result. The name of your organization suggests that I may be seeking assistance from the right source.

I applied for asylum last year on grounds of my sexual orientation and in fear of persecution (owing to my sexuality) if returned to Pakistan. I did not apply for asylum / protection previously because my plan was to graduate from university and apply for permanent residence on basis of my degree. After coming into immigration detention, as a last resort I have applied for refugee status, which I have been declined (of course, because hell will freeze over before the Refugee Review Tribunal decides to grant refugee status to persons on basis of their sexual orientation). Nonetheless, this has enabled me to prevent my deportation back to Pakistan for the time being.

I have exhausted my avenues of appeal and am currently in the process of writing to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and requesting him to exercise his discretion on humanitarian grounds and substitute the decision of the Tribunal with a more favorable one. I've got my fingers crossed but am not holding my breath (I've grown used to disappointment after disappointment during time spent in detention).

A vast percentage of detainees here at the detention centre were previously inmates at prison(s). I am willing to bet anything that at least some of them would harbor homosexual feelings, but are too ashamed to come out of the closet (especially those that have done long spells in prison). Instead they focus their energies on taunting and tormenting those of us who do have the courage to be true to ourselves (namely only my boyfriend and I; but now I am left all alone to suffer by myself in this hell with its homophobic inhabitants). The rest of the detainee population comprises of people that mainly come from poor, third-world countries (such as myself) that are simply too ignorant to even begin to grasp a comprehension of the concept of homosexuality. Out of sheer ignorance, they join in the torment parade. I have been living here for two years and four months, and find myself being taunted by people that arrived two weeks ago. It's so unfair. I've never been incarcerated prior to coming into detention. I've never been charged with or convicted of a criminal offence, in Australia or in my country of origin, Pakistan.

Nobody understands how hard it is. No one knows what a person such as me has to go through in order to come out of the closet. And then when I finally did come out, it was only to be taunted and tormented by everyone around me. I live amongst these people day in and day out and I don't know how much more of their hellish torment I can take. I know I am depressed because for example, I am unable to derive joy or satisfaction from activities that were previously very enjoyable to me (such as playing guitar). I have once again isolated myself from everybody around me (just like I once did at university, when I first went into depression). I do not talk to anyone anymore.

All my life I have had trust-issues; i.e. I have found it difficult (impossible, rather) trusting people (or at least completely trusting people). I believe this to be attributed to years of sexual abuse at the hands of people that were entrusted by my family with taking care of me while they (my family) were not around. As a result of these individuals breaching the trust of my parents, I believe I am unable to trust anybody. My relationships suffer greatly as a result, and this of course causes me further grief and anguish. Now with all the gay-jokes, the laughter and torment, my world (what's left of it and what's become of it) and my life seem like one big conspiracy. I feel like I am losing my mind; losing my sanity (what's left of it).

I would have sought asylum in Australia a long time ago had I known I was going to experience such difficult and trying times at university and was going to be unable to graduate as a result. Now after coming into detention and being faced with the prospect of deportation, I applied for refugee status as a last resort; a desperate measure since I had no other choice. It's so unfair; people have married after coming into detention, have applied for Spouse visas and have been released into the Australian community as permanent residents. I am not even permitted to wed my partner, whom I dearly love and want to live my life with. It's so unfair. I am especially surprised at the strict laws concerning same-sex marriage because this is Australia, not some poor ignorant third-world country.
Being permitted to remain and live in Australia would provide me with the opportunity to live my life openly and freely, not in secret, and free from oppression and prejudice (from authorities and / or family). The Refugee Review Tribunal seems to believe that I would be able to easily relocate to another part of Pakistan, away from my family, and live my life safely as long as I am discreet about my sexuality. My father for one has disowned me and my elder brother is waiting for me to return home so that he may "take care of me" in the name of the family honor and earn a good name and respect for himself for protecting and upholding the family honor and punishing me for dishonoring them. I have two siblings, both elder to me; a brother and sister. My brother was dishonorably discharged from the Pakistan Army and lives with my parents. My sister lives in another city with her husband and children. My mum and sister both still love me and want me to be safe. Dad and my brother, on the other hand, want me dead.
I can go on and on but I think I will end it here for now, because I don't want to give you too much more than you can digest. Please take this information into account and consideration and please, it is my respectful plea and request to you to try and intervene in my case and possibly assist in resolving my matters. I shall indeed be most grateful and eternally indebted to you and your organization. I take this opportunity to thank you for your time and consideration with respect to my matters. I anxiously await a reply on your part.

Yours Sincerely,

April 19, 2007

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hunger strike against collaboration with murderous Communist dictatorship

I have been visiting people detained in Villawood Immigration Centre for the last two years. Every fortnight, I take the hour long trip out on Sydney’s dodgy train system, because my government has re-instituted Concentration Camps, and I simply cannot be like those in pre-War Nazi Germany who were silent or complicit. (Not that Hitler invented the concentration camp; that was Lord Kitchener, who rounded up the “undesirables” in South Africa a century ago.)

Just what on Earth do we get out of turning away desperate refugees? What do we get from locking them up on sinking islands or sending them back to countries they have already had to flee in terror of their lives? Just what do we get out of a few hundred sick people suffering indefinite immigration detention in our very own concentration camps?

Australia easily (and necessarily) absorbs tens of thousands of immigrants every year? Why do we persecute the few who have overstayed a visa or worked one hour too many while on student visa? They are such a tiny proportion, less than one percent, of our annual immigration. What on Earth do we get out of torturing a token few, wrecking the lives of them and their families, with the taxpayer paying about a hundred and fifty dollars a day per detainee to the private company with the rather Orwellian name, Global Security Limited?

Wouldn’t you want your children to believe in the values of hospitality and offering help to those who need it? Wouldn’t you want your children to believe in and value the mutual support and friendship of the whole family of humanity?

Things are always desperate in there, but there’s currently a hunger strike that has lasted over two weeks, with Chinese asylum seekers terrified of being taken away forcibly in the middle of the night (as one was last week), and handed over to the Communist regime which harvests organs from live prisoners.

Tell your MP that you want to see some family values that actually value families, not just an excuse to attack people who bonk without breeding. Tell Howard that you want Australia to honour the commitment it made in 1951, when we did “decide who comes to this country and the circumstances under which they come”, when we signed the UN International Refugee Convention. Tell Howard we want some real 1950’s values, not his hypocritical collaboration with a Communist dictatorship.

I’ll be going back to Villawood in a couple of weeks. When a young woman isolated from her family asks me why she has been locked up indefinitely in the name of the Australian people, what would you like me to tell her?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sydney Easter Actions for Refugees

Solidarity aciton outside Villawood Detention Centre
Thursday 5th April 12-2

Easter Convergence on Kirribilli House
Sunday 8th April - 12 noon Bradfield Park under Nth Side of Habour Bridge
(get off at Milsons Point station)

Solidarity Visit @ Villawood Detention Centre
Monday 9th April - 12-2
Meet at 12 noon outside Villawood Detention Centre
Endorsed by Refugee Action Coalition, Stop the War Coalition, NSW Justice Network, Community Action Against Homophobia.

To visit Villawood detention centre, go to Birmingham Ave, ChesterHill. Get to LeightonfieldStation - serviced by Inner West and Bankstownlines.

below news article from

Australian immigration detainees launch hunger strike
By Mike Head 4 April 2007

About 60 prisoners at one of Australia’s notorious immigration detention centres launched a hunger strike on March 28 to protest against a new wave of refugee deportations, including the removal to China of a 35-year-old female member of the Falun Gong sect. As of yesterday, 25 detainees were continuing the fast into its second week.

Despite receiving almost no coverage in the mainstream media, the protest at Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre—the scene of scores of previous hunger strikes—once again serves to highlight the inhumanity of the Howard government’s mandatory detention of all asylum seekers.
Refugee activists said the Chinese woman was wanted by police in her home country for defending Falun Gong practitioners and attempting to expose their persecution. She screamed, awaking the other inmates, as at least six guards dragged her from the detention centre in her pyjamas at 4 a.m. on March 28.

The guards, employed by Global Solutions Ltd, the private company that runs the centre, were acting under the instructions of the immigration department, following the failure of two previous efforts to deport the woman. The government flouted an agreement it had made with detainees to give 48 hours’ notice of any removal.

That same night, on March 28, a Tanzanian asylum seeker was taken to hospital after slashing himself with broken glass. His condition and whereabouts remain unknown.

The hunger strikers have raised three demands: an end to forcible removals, the abolition of mandatory detention, and reports from the government on the fate of previously deported refugees, numbers of whom are known to have been killed or imprisoned on their return.
A spokeswoman for Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews has contemptuously denied any knowledge of the action. She confirmed that the woman had been placed on a flight to China, and claimed that the detention centre was calm after a “bit of noise”.

Two weeks before the Chinese woman’s removal, two other detainees were deported: a Nepalese man, locked in Villawood for three years, and a Filipino woman. Earlier in February, six people were deported from Villawood, including three Chinese asylum seekers.

On March 27, the day before the hunger strike began, up to 40 detainees protested about another Chinese national, An Xiang Tao, being confined in an isolation cell. An was isolated after being taken to hospital with head wounds that he apparently inflicted on himself when detainees were told that he was being removed to China.

An, also a Falun Gong practitioner, arrived in Australia in 2000 and had been in detention for four years before his deportation was ordered by the Federal Court earlier this year. About 100 Villawood detainees of many different nationalities formed a human blockade to prevent that taking place in late February.

The government’s forced removals are blatant violations of basic democratic rights, as well as international refugee law. It is well known that Chinese deportees face religious and political persecution in China. The Chinese government banned the Falun Gong spiritual group in 1999 and has subjected its supporters to imprisonment and various forms of repression.
An and eight other asylum seekers have taken a case to the Australian government’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) for human rights transgressions and racial discrimination in Villawood. The action was brought after a number of Chinese officials visited the country in 2005, and were permitted to question 24 Villawood detainees.

The interrogations gave An and other Chinese detainees even further reason to fear retribution from Beijing. An’s lawyer, Michaela Byers, told the media: “He fears that they will detain him on arrival, and that he may match someone on a data base who needs an organ transplant.” A report published last year, based on investigations undertaken by a former Canadian cabinet minister, accused Chinese authorities of killing Falun Gong practitioners and selling body parts to foreigners.

Brutal prison conditions

The conditions faced by the detainees in Villawood are nothing short of barbaric.
In October 2005, six Chinese asylum seekers held a hunger strike at Villawood for up to 55 days to protest against mandatory detention and their conditions. The protest exposed the fact that nothing had improved inside the detention centres despite cynical efforts by the Howard government to placate growing public disgust at the systematic mistreatment of asylum seekers and other so-called “illegal immigrants”.

Last November, over a hundred Chinese, Indian and Vietnamese detainees staged a 48-hour hunger strike in protest against the poor and punitive conditions, and the length of their detention. Some had been locked up for more than four years and separated from their families. Senator Amanda Vanstone, immigration minister at the time, provocatively accused the prisoners of trying to “blackmail” the government.

Detainees complained to journalists of being detained for working without permission, and then being made to work at a rate of a dollar an hour, in order to buy phone cards or cigarettes. They said the food was awful, poor in nutrition, taste and variety, despite years of complaints. They also reported that almost all detainees were being dosed with psychiatric medication.
In the same month, an inquiry on behalf of the Australian Council of Heads of Schools of Social Work into detention conditions was told by Professor Chris Goddard, director of the National Research Centre for the Prevention of Child Abuse at Monash University, that “detention centres generated universal mental ill-health never seen outside a psychiatric hospital”. The co-convener of the inquiry, Professor Linda Briskman from Curtin University, said the inquiry had been told of at least 10 people who had died in detention since 1999.

Last December, Sharif Assad, a Syrian detainee was tied to a bed in Bankstown hospital, not far from the detention centre, for six days after suffering an epileptic seizure. An independent psychologist from the Transcultural Mental Health Services who visited Assad last year recommended his release as the only way to stop his mental health deteriorating. But the Howard government rejected the recommendation.

Renewed scare campaign

In mid-2005, the well-publicised cases of two Australian residents, Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez, who both suffered physical and mental abuse in detention after being wrongly locked up as “illegals”, eventually forced the government to make a deal with a group of its own backbenchers to modify the detention policy. Children and their mothers were permitted to apply for transfers to “community detention”.

This so-called compromise allowed the detention system to continue. As at March 16 this year, 617 people remained imprisoned, including 67 women and children in community detention, more than half of whom had sought refugee protection visas. Of these, 234 were in Villawood, and 82 on the Australian offshore territory of Christmas Island.

Since then, 82 Tamil refugees on Christmas Island have been transported to the remote Pacific island of Nauru. This meant re-opening the Australian-financed detention camp there, just weeks after the final departure of the last two of the hundreds of boat refugees incarcerated since 2001.

Andrews has also signalled a ramping up of the so-called “Pacific Solution” by opening negotiations with Indonesia for it to imprison all refugee boat arrivals and accept the immediate return of any that make it to Australia. The Indonesian government is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and therefore has no formal legal impediment to sending asylum seekers straight back to suffer persecution in the countries they fled.

These developments, combined with the spate of deportations from Villawood, indicate that the Howard government and new immigration minister Andrews are once again ramping up the vilification and scapegoating of refugees in the lead up to a federal election.

In this, as in the infamous 2001 federal election campaign, Howard relies on the complicity of the Labor Party, which is equally wedded to the mandatory detention regime, instigated by the Hawke and Keating Labor governments in the early 1990s. Labor’s immigration spokesman Tony Burke has not uttered a word about the Villawood hunger strike.

In fact, Burke’s last media comment on the Villawood detention centre came during a January 15 press conference, during which he opposed government plans to shut down and relocate the facility. Typically, Burke sought to outdo the government’s scare campaign against asylum seekers by declaring that western Sydney residents feared a new detention centre being placed “in their backyard”.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Syrian Man 24 days without solid food, department in denial

I made several calls yesterday to the Department of Immigration, first being answered by a woman who said she was the Syrian man’s case officer, and then transferred without explanation after I had told his story, to a number that did not answer. I was then told this some other man was the case officer, but he was in a meeting. I called this number again, and again, and finally, after being told he was in a meeting still, I got a call straight back from him on my mobile. I tell him about the Syrian man’s epilepsy, his going to court, having a fit, off to hospital, back to detention, return to court, epileptic fit, off to hospital, how can it more forward? He says he is grateful for this information, which seems like news to him, the case officer.

Later, a man from the department’s media unit in Canberra called me to assure me that the Syrian man was not on hunger strike, as they had him under observation. Why are we expected to take the word of the jailers? I see this man face to face. I see a man with no appetite for abuse, for further humiliation, for indignity heaped upon indignity. I have no appetite for the spin doctors of this inhumane detention regime.

Apparently sick people were housed outside of the detention centres, in care facilities, or released into community care, until the new minister put a stop to this. I don’t know, Kevin Andrews (Minister for Immigration), I send this blog to you every time I update it. What do you say? Can you show some compassion for this sick and damaged man? Or will he continue to waste away in front of my eyes, while his mercenary jailers lie to you?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Syrian Man suffers epileptic seizure in court, back to detention, day twenty of hunger strike.

That's about it really, except to add that this happened last time he was in court to have his application for asylum heard. They ask him about why he is in fear of his life if returned to Syria, and this fear is so bad that before he can articulate it, he suffers an epileptic seizure. Of to hospital, back to detention, no hope, no compassion.

He is now on day twenty of his hunger strike. Well, twenty one, as it's now Saturday.

Immigration minster Kevin Andrews and shadow minister Tony Burke , you are being updated with this blog emailed direct to you, and you can explain how you let a sick man starve to death, if you don't do something first.

Amanda would say it's blackmail. I say he's trying to get your attention with all that he has left, his life, and, how can you ignore him and call yourself human?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"I am the officer, and you're just a detainee."
The Syrian Man is on day eigthteen of his hunger strike in Immigration Detention Centre.

He spoke with me to day, and told me of yet another instance of casual cruelty by the detention guards. He had been working on the internet for an hour an a half, when the guard told him only an hour was allowed, and so he had to stop now. My friend pointed out that no one else was wanting to access the computer, and insisted on staying. This outraged the guard, who told him that he had to do what the guard said, without protest, because "I am the officer, and you're just a detainee."

I am proud of my friend for not accepting this insult to his dignity as a human being, and I understand more why he is refusing to take food from this cruel tyrannic regime.

Kevin Andrews, the Minister for Immigration, is being send a copy of this entry and the last blog, and he can share with me and you the daily news of this man slowly starving to death, because we won't give him freedom or dignity.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rather have peace (starve to death)...

This quiet man calmly looked me in the eyes and told me how he'd rather have peace (die from lack of food) than be further tortured by a forced deportation to face certain brutal death in Syria.

He is now on hunger strike, and has not eaten for fifteen days.

His arm is damaged because he has epilepsy, made far worse by the stress of detention and the very real fear of deportation to certain death. He suffers frequent epileptic episodes,and has damage all over his body.

With regard to his hunger strikes, the Immgration Department simply lied through their teeth to the media and told the Epoch Times (23 November 2005) "there was no Syrian man currently refusing food." He showed me this news report, this lie negating his very existence and his struggle to be heard. He urged me to tell you he was real.

And when he looked me in the eye and softly told he wanted to die, to have peace, I could not deny his quiet sincerity.

I salute his dignity and his commitment to the integrity of his free soul, and I pray that there is some way for him to have this other than starving to death because that's better than what our anti-immigration detention and deportation regime is offering him.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

In Danger of Deportation to Death

11 January 2007 From: Jian Lin DOB: 17/04/1980 VW1 6579 Stage 1, Villawood Immigration Detention Centre 15 Birmingham Avenue Villawood NSW 2163 Tel: 02 9752 1500 Fax: 0296441184

To Whom It May Concern:

The following is a statement from Mr Jian Liu. It is his account of the events that took place recently at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre.

My case manager from DIMIA visited me Monday morning on 8thi January 2007. She informed me that I was liable to be removed from Australia and that I would be deported back to my home country China on Wednesday, 10th January 2007. She had also brought with her forms that detailed my detention costs and other costs owed by me to the Commonwealth, and she also had documents regarding my removal from Australia.

I informed her that I currently had an ongoing matter before the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. She took a photocopy of my letter / application for Ministerial Intervention from me and left, taking all the documents she had brought with her.
At no point during our meeting was I asked by my DIMIA case manager to put my signature on my removal documents. She took them with her at the end of our meeting and returned to her office to contact the Ministerial Intervention Unit in Canberra in order to verify the status of my application to the Minister.

Later that afternoon my case manager returned and saw me again briefly. She said that she had been informed by the Minister’s office in Canberra that they had indeed received my request for Ministerial Intervention but that a decision was pending on the matter. She also said that regardless of this, my deportation to China would still proceed; meaning that I would be removed from Australia on Wednesday 10th January 2007 as she had oiginally stated earlier that day. She then gave me a copy of my removal document / form and left. Once again, even at this point she never asked me to sign my removal form.

I returned to my room and read the form. On it I saw her signature, and also comments made by her stating that I had refused to place my signature on the removal form. Again I state, at no point in time that day was I asked by her to sign the removal form.

All this time I had been under the impression that I had an ongoing matter before the Minister’s office. Hence, I thought that by law, the Department of Immigration would not be permitted to remove me from Australia while I had an ongoing matter. But once I had been informed of my pending deportation from Australia by my case manager on Monday, I was obviously very distressed as a result. For the rest of the day I was under tremendous stress and quickly sank into depression.

I did not sleep much that night. Tuesday morning (9th January 2007) I woke up after a short sleep and realised that once I would be returned to China, I would most certainly face either immediate imprisonment or more likely, death. I was in a stressed state of mind, to say the least. I felt extremely helpless and hopelessness took a firm grip on me. Driven by the most unfortunate of circumstances, I inflicted self-harm upon myself. I was seriously injured as a result and had to be rushed to hospital. I was immediately admitted to Liverpool Hospital where I received surgery and treatment at the emergency department. I stayed at Liverpool Hospital over night, where the doctors and nursing staff took very good care of me. The staff were deeply concerned for my health and well-being, and I received more than adequate medical attention and treatment.

Wednesday (l0 January 2007) afternoon around 2 or 3 pm, security staff from the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre arrived at Liverpool Hospital.

They informed me that I was to be transferred from hospital back to the detention centre at once and that they would be having me discharged from Liverpool hospital and taking me back to the centre. I informed them that I was feeling very sore and that I was in a lot of pain as a result of my injuries. I was in fear of leaving hospital too soon because I felt I required the care of professional medical staff and feared that my condition might worsen or become unstable if I were to return to the detention centre (where I could not possibly be under constant medical supervision).

I also had a toothbrush lodged somewhere along my digestive tract that I had swallowed when I had inflicted self-harm, which doctors had not been able to remove at that time. The security staff then warned me that if I did not comply and resisted returning to the detention centre, I would be taken by force. I was left with no choice other than to comply and leave from hospital.
But before we left Liverpool Hospital, I requested the security staff to allow me to have another x-ray taken in order for the doctors to precisely observe exactly where along my digestive tract the toothbrush was lodged. I felt that was essential because the toothbrush I had swallowed could have been lodged in a dangerous spot. I was refused this by the detention security staff and they said that I had to be returned to Villawood immediately. The security manager from the detention centre (Eddie Peseta) ordered one of his officers to start filming because they were about to use force to remove me from the hospital. The security officer started filming us using a portable video camera. I was under tremendous stress and also a lot of pain, and I quickly obtained a cup of detergent and drank it. They saw me drink the detergent and after I had finished Eddie (the Security Manager) stated that my actions did not make any difference and he grabbed me by my hand and dragged me to the escort van. I was in too poor a condition to possibly resist.

While I was in the escort van on the way back, I was in extreme pain and I requested the security staff if I could lie down in order to be more comfortable. One officer named Amir refused my request.

I was brought back to the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre on Wednesday 10th January 2007 around 5 pm. I was first taken to the medical department at Stage 2 of the detention centre, where the nurse was very rude to me and did nothing in the form of a medical check-up except for simply checking my blood pressure. Neither was I seen by a doctor, nor was I psychologically assessed by a psychologist or a mental-health nurse. I had just been discharged from hospital, and in my opinion untimely discharged, and was still in a very poor condition and required medical care and attention.

I was then taken to Stage 1 (where I originally resided before this incident took place) immediately and was placed under 24-hour observation. This meant that at least 2 security personnel were close by at all times, never letting me out of their sight, and never being more than 3 to 5 meters away. Since I have returned to Stage 1, I have not been allowed to have contact with other detainees. I am constantly being kept in an observation cell, with 2 security officers at my door at all times. I am not permitted to leave the cell, neither is any detainee allowed to visit me in my cell.

The most contact I can have with other detainees is if they come to my cell and talk to me from outside my door. I am in a lot of pain and extremely uncomfortable. Since I have returned from hospital, the medical staff at the detention centre have not done much to tend to my injuries and have failed to give me medication. I believe I am being neglected badly by the medical staff. At Liverpool Hospital I was getting the care and treatment that I require under my present physical and psychological condition. Finally today (Thursday 11 January 2007) I was able to see the doctor at the detention centre. I informed him that I was in a lot of pain and felt that the toothbrush I had previously swallowed was making me extremely uncomfortable and painful. He stated that he would have an x-ray appointment arranged for me within three days from today.

The security staff saw me drink detergent in front of them at the hospital. They were aware that I had inflicted serious injuries to myself a day prior to that. They were aware of the seriousness and the extent of my injuries. In my opinion I believe that in light of the injuries I had sustained, I should not have been discharged from hospital so soon. Especially the fact that detention security personnel used force to remove me from hospital leads me to feel and believe that my rights as a human being have been violated; and negligence on part of the medical staff at the detention centre is a continuing violation of human rights.

I have been living in Australia since 1999. I have been in custody of the Department of Immigration and detained at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre for nearly a year and a half (17 months). I fled my home country China because I was the victim of ongoing extreme persecution for my practices of Falun Gong. If I were returned to China, I would most certainly face imprisonment, torture, and most likely death. I am in a desperate situation. I feel that I am lost; my future is extremely dark and bleak; and that there is no hope.

I plead to you to take my story into account and consideration and if possible, I urge you to please play a part in attaining justice for a fellow human being with no one or nowhere to turn to.
I take this opportunity to thank you for your time and consideration in relation to my matter.

Yours sincerely,

Jian Liu Villawood Immigration Detention Centre

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Injured in Detention

Monday, l8 December 2006
From: Yi Guo LIN (VW24955) Stage 1, Villawood IDC 15 Birmingham Avenue Tel: (02) 9752 1500 VillawoodNSW 2163 Fax: (02)9644 1184

Re: Statement by Mr Lin Explaining Compensation Claim

Dear Sir /Madam,

I write to you with respect to my application for legal aid that I wish to file with your office today. I have attached the relevant Legal Aid form accompanying this statement. Let me briefly state that a series of events occurred at the Villawood Immigration Detention Centre as a result of which I sustained major injuries. Hence, I seek compensation as a result of sustaining injuries under the care of security staff (GSL (Global Solutions Limited) Australia) at the detention centre; and am making an application to your office for legal assistance in the matter. It is necessary to understand that the important issue to note is that I have sustained serious injuries as a direct consequence of GSL ‘s negligence.

My name is Yi Guo Lin. I am of Chinese origin. Until Monday 27th November 2006, I was resident at Stage 3 (minimum security) of the detention centre. On the night of the 27th, along with six other Chinese detainees from Stage 3 (seven in total) were relocated / transferred to Stage 1 (maximum security compound). That night my friend and fellow detainee (Mr Wen Long HU) approached me on request of the General Manager (GM) and asked me to attend a meeting in the Stage 3 mess (dining hall) later that night. I asked Mr Ru what it was about and he stated that the GM was thinking about relocating the seven of us to Stage 1. The GM had promised Mr Hu that the meeting was in order to hold talks between us and detention management. The GM had also assured Mr Hu that nobody would be moved by force and that there would only be negotiations at the meeting.

As asked, the seven of us attended the meeting at about 8:15 pm that night. Once we had all walked into the mess, GSL officers shut the main door and around 20 officers entered the mess through the back door. Before I knew it, we were surrounded by officers. The GM then stated that owing to the absence of an official interpreter, the meeting had been postponed until later in the week and that for now all of us would have to move to Stage 1 immediately. The GM instructed the officers to begin moving us into the bus, so that we would then be transferred to Stage 1.

Obviously, we were all very alarmed and realised too late that we had walked into an ambush. The moment the GM ordered his officers to begin moving us, a scuffle erupted between all that were present at the meeting. A number of officers jumped me, trying to bound me and tie me up. In the process, I sustained major injuries to my hand resulting in a broken finger. Five out of the seven of us ended up in hospital that night owing to various injuries sustained. I was admitted into Banks Town Hospital on the morning of 28” November 2006 where I underwent surgery for my hand. I was discharged from hospital on 30th November 2006 and transported by GSL to Stage 1 (maximum security) of the detention centre.

Since I have returned from hospital, I have not once been returned to hospital for physiotherapy and/or a check-up regarding my reconstructed finger. I have also not been given the opportunity for my hand to be looked at by a doctor since I have returned from hospital. I am experiencing significant discomfort at present and believe that I should be taken to hospital again to have my state of recuperation assessed.

Also, since I have returned to the detention centre, I have been unable to retrieve my personal belongings that were in my property at Stage 3 prior to my relocation to Stage 1. These items included my wallet, clothes, important documents relating to my Migration case, TAFE certificates, other personal belongings etc. I am not proficient in the English language, especially spoken English. I feel that I am ignored most times when I try to communicate with management at the detention centre. Especially with regard to pursuing the retrieval of my missing property items, I feel that management constantly ignore me and they are proving to be most uncooperative in the matter.

From the seven detainees that were forcefully relocated to Stage 1, two have already been deported back to their home country (all seven are of Chinese origin). I am in a state of depression and anxiety owing to the series of events that have recently transpired. Please consider the information that I have provided above in making a decision in my matter. The fact of the matter is that Management used deception in order to perform an internal operation (transferring detainees from one compound to another). As a consequence, I have been seriously injured and am denied further medical care / treatment to date. I sincerely believe that I have been denied natural justice and procedural fairness. I urge you to consider my application for legal assistance in the matter.

I take this opportunity to thank you for your time and consideration in respect of my matter.


Yi Guo LIN

Monday, 18th December 2006 Yi Guo Lin VW24955