Multiple suicide attempts at Baxter Detention Centre

Posted by admin on Dec 14th, 2006

Multiple suicide attempts at Baxter Detention Centre. Excerpt from Independent Media Centre – Perth

December 12, 2006- Australia’s litany of human rights abuses continues with multiple suicide attempts at the Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia. Thirty people are staging a protest today after six people attempted to take their own lives inside the Baxter Detention centre near Port Augusta over the past week. Western Australian human rights group Project SafeCom said detainees had tried to hang themselves, while others had slashed themselves with broken glass and mirrors.

The Immigration Department says there have been six incidents in the past four days. It says two detainees jumped from the roof on Friday, a detainee climbed a tree on Saturday and was treated for heat exhaustion when he came down, and on Sunday another man climbed onto a roof before coming down again.”Staff were speaking to the man when he jumped to the ground,” a DIMA spokesman said. “A GSL officer caught the man before he reached the ground.” ‘GSL’ are the UK-based Global Solutions Limited, who profit to the tune of $20 million a year from detaining refugees. Globally, GSL has more than 8000 employees, of whom 1064 are in Australia.

“These incidents are no surprise,” said Project SafeCom spokesman Jack Smith. “The fact remains that Australia locks up people in detention centre jails such as Baxter which represent maximum security jails, wherever they are built around Australia. Mandatory detention is a bankrupt policy and these incidents form yet another layer in the hundreds of stories that affirm this.”

A Commonwealth Ombudsman report on 20 cases of wrongful immigration detention was released last week, further exposing the ill treatment of people inside detention gulags. Some chilling accounts included a child being locked up because of a computer glitch. Adele Horin, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald says: “an out-of-control Department of Immigration is the legacy of John Howard’s and Philip Ruddock’s ruthlessness and Amanda Vanstone’s casualness. Their combined efforts over a decade have created a culture in which at least 247 people, many of them Australian citizens or permanent residents, have been wrongly locked up in Villawood, Curtin or Baxter detention centres, or deported.”

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