Here is a message I just received from the wonderful Pamela Curr at ASRC. As she says, our detention facilities are designed to break people – to punish them for daring to come to Australia seeking protection:
ONE OF THE WORST OF DAYS AT THE MITA – formerly a transit camp at Broadmeadows- now a HIGH SECURITY PRISON.
Today Border Force has broken up friendship groups at the MITA.
27 single men are now locked up in Calder, isolated from their friends and only able to make contact after applying in writing to request a visit.
It has been clarified that no time lines are given for when these requests will be honoured. It depends on SERCO staff deciding if there is a suitable time and space in visits.
10 women and family groups are locked up in Bass compound. 6 vulnerable men are in AVON and Eildon is empty.
Food will be delivered to the compounds so there will be no eating together.
Gym facilities consist of 3 machines in Calder and there are 4 Computers for 27 men. So no communal activity.
Worst of all are the rooms which are smaller than ever, estimated to be 2.5 x 3 metres. Two men are expected to live in each room in a double bunk. The men report that the bunks are so low that no one can sit upright in the downstairs bunk. No one wants to sleep upstairs jammed against the low celing. Detention regulations have always breached health and safety standards of residential care with impunity.
As one man said- they want to make conditions in detention so horrible that no one will ever come to Australia.
Another person said- these guys are our friends- we spend our days having a laugh with them in this terrible place.
Many of the women did not come to visits becasue they were too sad by the separation. Border Force and SERCO were there in force for this brutal change to the ” Operating Model” of the MITA.
There are 27 men to occupy 19 rooms. Most do not want to share rooms after years in detention. Some men are considering sleeping outside tonight.
What was saddest was to see young men so broken down that they said- there is no point in protesting- if we do they will just punish us more by sending us to MIDC or worse.
Day by day the cruelty and inhumanity increase.This model of separate zones, limiting communication and friendship has been implemented in MIDC at Maribyrnong. Now that the children are gone, the same brutal imprisonment techniques are being implemented in MITA at Broadmeadows.
They are designed to break people to punish them for daring to come to Australia seeking protection.