Call For An Inquiry Into Australia's Detention Centres sign now

We, The Undersigned, urge the OHCHR to conduct an inquiry into Australia's detention centres.

Time and time again the media reports tales of injustice, violence, neglect and human rights abuses that go on in the detention centres and yet nothing seems to be done. Psychologists and doctors who have worked in the centres speak up about the horrors they have witnessed and yet again, the Government does nothing. We are concerned about the treatment of the innocent people locked away in these gulags, and we are also dismayed that the greater international community is beginning to believe that the views and beliefs that Australia's Mandatory Detention policy represents are shared by all Australian citizens - they are not.

We believe - and it has been widely stated - that detainees experience conditions worse than in many jails during their often lengthy stays in detention and experience little respect or common decency. One detainee has been held at Baxter for SIX YEARS. Detainees with mental illnesses often do not receive the treatment or care that they should, while children are also locked within the oppressive surrounds of the centre - many of which are situated within the inhospitable climes of the Australian desert, such as Baxter. It has often been reported that conditions within the centres has led to self-harm, riots, depression, violence and attempted escapes. People held in detention are often put in solitary confinement ("isolation") for 'offenses' as innocent as not saying "please".

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Excerpt from The Australian newspaper, February 19th, 2005:
"Dr Louise Newman, director of the NSW Institute of Psychiatry, said a leaked treatment protocol used at Baxter -- which provides for troublesome detainees to be locked up alone and kept under surveillance for 20 hours a day -- had the potential to make mentally ill detainees worse.

The document, a copy of which has been obtained by The Weekend Australian, outlines a four-stage "behaviour regime" that, in its initial phases, denies all personal visits and allows prisoners to make only one phone call a day and to leave their rooms for only two two-hour blocks. Dr Newman said that under international conventions, "this would not be allowed for prisoners of war".

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We urge you to investigate this situation and to force our Government into action; for the sake of the refugees, who most certainly cannot go on like this.

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Ruthie SantosBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

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