Detainees on Christmas Island were suffering terribly because of abhorrent living conditions, but thankfully, the detention centre has closed down due to horrific living conditions. This island is owned by Australia, 2600km northwest of Perth, plus 5-hour flight. There are currently 1,352 people in detention and 59 deaths in detention centres since 2000, 17 known to be suicide. On average, detainees are in detention for 505 days.
Asylum seekers are people who want to live in a country, such as Australia, mainly due to war or discrimination in their home country. Alyas Taqawi, former asylum seeker says, “It felt really good to be on solid land,” in an interview with Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), “It was a prison!” An unnamed service corporation guard emotionally stated in a News.com interview, “Pulling dead, mangled babies out of the water was the hardest part.” Many refugees and asylum seekers travel to Australia but end up in detention centres by boat so there are some deaths on the water.
The living conditions on Christmas Island were horrific. There are many other detention centres with similar conditions. Guards are everywhere, detainees are being watched 24/7. In bathrooms, there are no locks which is disgraceful as some of the detainees are criminals (rapists). There is no privacy at all and children are extremely confused about why they are imprisoned. There are no activities to occupy yourself. There are different types of rooms each with their own level of luxury, Gold 1 and 2, Green 1 and 2, Red 1, Blue 1 and 2 and White 2. Red 1 is usually used for men with a mental illness. Gold is for protection when men have committed crime. There is no air conditioning or fans in the rooms.
Accessing areas in the detention centre needs a security guard to open double airlocks by pressing a sequence of buttons. If gates are needed to allow cars to access the centre, an alarm is launched until closed. The detention centre was run by SERCO Australia. They were usually fit and bulky and wear Go Pros to film riots. Detainees are known by an ID number, usually based on their boat number.
Many illnesses, predominantly mental illnesses, affected the detainees on Christmas Island, which affects their behaviour. There are not enough mental health professionals or specialists on the island which means patients may need to travel to the mainland. Illnesses on the island were life-threatening, where some caused death, some suicide. Many children are affected by mental illness because of the horrific ‘gaol’. Some detainees are criminals who boast about their crimes and scare fellow detainees.
Let’s put a stop to detention centres worldwide!
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