Saturday, 25 September 2010

Serco Punish Australian Rooftop Protesters

According to Australian refugee advocate groups, all of the 20 participants in this week's two rooftop protests, except a pregnant woman involved in the second action which ended late Thursday, have been placed in maximum security isolation since they ended their protests. Meanwhile, the main week-long hunger strike involving 16 detainees continues.

At the same time, the nephew of the 36-year-old Fijian man whose suicide precipitated the first protest has been released from custody, and who was to be deported alongside his uncle, has been released from the Villawood detention centre. Also yesterday, the memorial service for Josefa Rauluni originally planned to take place within the grounds of Villawood was cancelled at the last moment by Serco and the service had to take place on a footpath next to the detention centre fence so that detainees could still take part.

Interestingly, it has been revealed that Mr Rauluni's death, like the estimated 27 deaths to have occurred in Australian detention centres since 2000, will not be recorded in the official government register of deaths in custody, suggesting an attempt to circumvent the government's duty of care for detainees according to a number of refugee advocates and legal experts.

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