Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

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Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

Post by Ben Mothafuckin' Reilly on Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:53 pm

Witness accounts from inside Australia's detention centres are rare. Walled in behind government secrecy, contracts which bind them to silence, and fear for their future livelihoods, staff and former employees of the organisations running the centres bite their tongues, or confide only in close colleagues, family members or friends.

The few who have spoken to the media have mostly done so anonymously, or through third parties.

Now, the first of what could be a steady trickle of embarrassing whistleblower accounts has emerged in the form of an explosive book, The Undesirables, by a former Salvation Army employee, 26-year-old Sydneysider Mark Isaacs. The title is taken from a term Isaacs says a government staffer was overheard using to describe the asylum-seekers at the camp.

Isaacs was only 24 when, on the strength of a single phone call and with no experience, he was hired by the Salvos and dispatched to Nauru with less than a week's notice to ''provide support'' to asylum seekers detained there.

The date was October 1, 2012, just a fortnight after then prime minister Julia Gillard had reopened the offshore camp in a desperate revival of former prime minister John Howard's ''Pacific solution'' - an attempt to deter asylum seekers by shipping them to the tiny Pacific nation for indefinite detention.

Isaacs completed five rotations through the camp, each of several weeks. The last he saw of ''Topside'', as the internment camp on Nauru was known, was in June last year, shortly before inmates burnt much of it to the ground.

There is a rawness and an immediacy to this account because it is so recent. Originally slated for publication next month, the book - available from Monday - has been rushed out by publisher Hardie Grant Books after the chaotic events at the Manus Island detention centre last month which left one man dead, and scores injured.

Isaacs' book constitutes a warning that, no matter how much physical facilities on Manus and Nauru might improve, it may be impossible to avoid violent periodic eruptions inside the camps in the future.

It is because the men have no hope, he argues, and therefore little to lose.

''Criminals were given a sentence to serve: these men were not even given that,'' Isaacs writes. ''They feared they would die in Nauru, that they would be forgotten, that they would become non-people.''

Isaacs has heard all the arguments about why imprisoning men in their hundreds on small Pacific islands and leaving them in limbo is the only way to ''solve'' the asylum seeker problem.
But nothing convinced him the cruelty inflicted in the process was worth it. There were moments of heartbreak for the young, untrained Australian, facing the anguish of these men.

http://www.smh.com.au/national/asylum-seekers-nothing-to-lose-desperation-on-nauru-20140314-34s04.html

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Re: Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:55 pm

That's a book I have to read!

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Re: Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

Post by Lone Wolf on Sat Mar 15, 2014 2:49 am

Cool 

Considering we could only expect around 5-10,000 boat people a year to reach Oz (the actual average over the past 30+ years is less than 6,000 a year => just over 10% of the 55,000 illegal immigrants that come through here each year (most of whom fly in on tourist or student visas ~ and simply overstay their welcome..)), the hundreds of millions of dollars being wasted on off shore accommodation and extra naval patrols could always have been put to better use...

ALL for the sake of pandering to the more conservative/nervous_nellies/"shock jock"/racist/NewsCorp' elements out there..  Never mind any 'collateral' breaches of human rights or "common decency".
 ::rfth::

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Re: Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

Post by Ben Mothafuckin' Reilly on Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:19 pm

Lone Wolf wrote:Cool 

Considering we could only expect around 5-10,000 boat people a year to reach Oz (the actual average over the past 30+ years is less than 6,000 a year => just over 10% of the 55,000 illegal immigrants that come through here each year (most of whom fly in on tourist or student visas ~ and simply overstay their welcome..)), the hundreds of millions of dollars being wasted on off shore accommodation and extra naval patrols could always have been put to better use...

ALL for the sake of pandering to the more conservative/nervous_nellies/"shock jock"/racist/NewsCorp' elements out there..  Never mind any 'collateral' breaches of human rights or "common decency".
 ::rfth::

Exactly -- it's all based, like so much of conservative dogma, upon racism at heart.

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Re: Sydney man blows whistle on asylum-seeking 'undesirables' camp

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:57 pm

And yet some people hate immigrants and asylum seekers more than baby killers Sad

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