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


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