Death in Christmas Island-Who is responsible and accountable for deaths, torture and sexual violence in the Australian government?s immigration detention centres?
Mr.Fazal Chegeni was a Kurdish refugee from Iran who died last Friday after escaping from the Christmas Island immigration detention camp in Australia run by multinational security company SERCO. ?The cause of his death has not been made known.
Deaths are not unusual in the Australian government?s onshore and offshore detention camps which have a long history of no accountability whatsoever. ?Australia?s World Press freedom ranking by Reporters Without Borders has been falling over the years due to the lack of transparency and access to these detention camps.
While we mourn the loss of one more person in our community, like previous deaths in detention, the Australian government and SERCO have failed to answer questions or take responsibility for Mr.Fazal Chegeni?s death.
Mr. Chegeni?s death occurred under the watch of the Australian government. ?The only ?improvement? that can be made to immigration detention ?facilities? is the closure of these concentration camps that have killed and maimed so many of our community members.
Ex-detainee and founder of RISE, Ramesh Fernandez said that ?For the last 20 years there have been many unaccountable deaths in Australian-run detention centres. ?Token inquiries have been carried out but nobody has ever been held accountable.?
?Refugees remain political pawns for politicians and a convenient source of income for detention contractors like Transfield Services or security companies like SERCO and Wilson Security.?
Mr. Fernandez further remarked that ?At least 90 percent of people held in detention are people of colour and mostly refugees and asylum seekers. ?Our black and brown bodies are not treated with respect and dignity in Australia because we are not seen as equal to white people?
?Support for detention centres is support for rape and death in custody as well as an inherently racist refugee policy.?
We urgently request the public to resist Australia?s xenophobic government policies by demanding greater transparency, fairness and humanity in the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees and the closure of all detention centres.
Our basic demands are :
- Shutdown detention centres offshore and onshore
- Bring asylum seekers and refugees on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island to mainland Australia.
- Process all asylum claims and visa applications fairly and humanely in the community
Finally we pay our condolences to the family and loved ones of Mr.Fazal Chegeni.
RISE : Refugee Survivors and Ex-detainees