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Australian immigration detention 'torture'
8:35 pm GMT+12, 14/03/2017, Australia

 The Australian government is directly responsible for an immigration detention system which amounts to torture, Amnesty International will tell senators on Wednesday.
 
The human rights organisation will urge a parliamentary inquiry to recommend the immediate evacuation of centres on Manus Island and Nauru, bringing detainees to Australia and ending offshore detention.
 
“From our research and the evidence we collected we will make crystal clear to the Senate committee that the Australian government has set up a deliberately cruel and inhumane system on Nauru that is intended to make desperate and vulnerable people suffer,” Amnesty's Graham Thom said.
 
“The government can no longer ignore that offshore detention has hit the end of a very bloody and abusive road.”
 
People being held on Nauru and Manus Island had suffered enough and must be immediately taken off the islands, Dr Thom said.
 
“The fairest and quickest way to do that remains bringing them to Australia immediately to process their asylum claims and welcome refugees into our community.”
 
The heads of Comcare, which is responsible for the health and safety of people in Australian government workplaces, including workers and detainees in offshore detention centres, will also face the hearing in Canberra.
 
So too will representatives from International Health and Medical Services (IHMS), which is paid by the Australian government to provide medical care to asylum seekers.
 
Senior immigration and foreign affairs officials will also front the hearing, which is investigating allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers.
 
In Brisbane on Tuesday, refugee advocates broke down telling senators about the experiences of people held on Manus Island and Nauru, citing suicide attempts, children banging their heads against walls and detainees being called by number.
 
Senators were also told of mouldy food, limited access to water and squalid living conditions at the Australian-run immigration detention centres.
 
The inquiry heard refugees and asylum seekers in need of medical scans had been left waiting months
 
There were also cases where refugees and asylum seekers transferred to Australia for medical treatment had been taken back to Nauru or Manus in "medically inappropriate" circumstances before they had had adequate time to recover.


SOURCE: AAP/PACNEWS


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