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‘Use of Force’ on the Rise in Australia’s Detention Centres

Maribyrnon’s immigration centre has been labelled the ‘harshest’ in Australia. Detainees have been living in prison-like conditions since the Australian Boarder Force took over the running of the centre. Reports suggest that riot gear is kept in a room nicknamed ‘The Dungeon’ and that the room contains items such as face shields, handcuffs, flexicuffs, face masks and body vests.

Data obtained through a freedom of information request shows that in July 2015, there were 958 “use of force” incidents. This is almost twice as many incidents as Sydney’s Villawood centre which has the second highest “use of force” incidents. It has also been reported that guards restrain detainees with handcuffs at Maribyrnon more than in any other facility in Australia.

There are also suggestions that vulnerable people such as asylum seekers are being forced to share rooms with convicted criminals who are in detention because they have had their visas cancelled. Asylum Seeker Resource Centre detention rights advocate Pamela Curr also made mention of a young, female asylum seeker who had been sent to a hospital for an operation from Maribyrnong and was subsequently handcuffed to her hospital bed for two days.

This treatment has refugee and human rights advocates up in arms, claiming that the circumstances in detention centres more closely resemble military camps.

If you believe that you have been wrongly detained in a detention centre, please contact our experienced migration agents at The Migration Place for a consultation on +61 7 3229 4027.

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