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 Kevin.Andrews.MP@aph.gov.au and shadow minister Tony Burke Tony.Burke.MP@aph.gov.au , 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