I is for Immigration Detention Centres
Today I will allow the story to speak for itself. Here are two excerpts from chapter 6 of Ashmore Grief.
"‘It’s time to have a look around your new home. Your temporary home.’
Thuza did not like the fact that the adjective temporary was an afterthought. ‘How long will I be here?’
The smile she was given did not answer her question but she declined to repeat it for fear of the answer.
As they walked, her guide talked. Thuza saw cages everywhere, big cages, and small cages, even cages around the lights. It was sterile and inhospitable. The commentary began with an introduction:‘The Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, IDC, has permanent, purpose built facilities including accommodation compounds, a medical centre and first-aid rooms, a commercial kitchen, a laundry, educational and recreational facilities and a range of sporting facilities. It has a regular use capacity of 400 adults. Recently the contingency capacity has been increased to give a total capacity of 1 116 people.’
Thuza furtively studied the faces of the people she passed. She saw no children and few women. The inmates were mostly young men. ‘Where are the children?’ she asked."
"'It is possible for Australia to be a compassionate and just
country whilst still presenting an effective deterrent to people smugglers and potential irregular immigrants”.
The Blaxland ballroom hummed with muffled cheers and a couple of deep here, here’s accompanied Wittaya’s opening comment. He continued, glancing down at the speech which he had written himself, from time to time, ‘The government does not support turning boats around because it is a dangerous policy. The opposition would have people believe, rather simplistically, that illegal maritime arrivals can be stopped and sent back. Would we ask our defense personnel to ignore the cries of desperate people? And should they compel the boats to turn around with threats of force, or actual force. There are some ignorant and cruel people who would have us sink these boats and allow those aboard to die. To drown to death. This would be laughable if it were not horrific, and monstrously inhuman. Most boats are unseaworthy when found. Many of the asylum seekers are hungry and dehydrated. A better option would be being able to return the individuals to their port of origin after safely bringing them to the Australian mainland or Christmas Island. It is our humanitarian duty to ensure the safety of all those who enter Australian territory. We must care, and do what we can for those who seek our help.’"
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