4 Corners Program confirms need for Royal Commission
Monday night’s 4 Corners report demonstrates that Australia’s refugee policy cannot be swept under the carpet with a few cosmetic changes.
The Howard detention policies infringed the most basic and minimal of human rights.
Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than in the film footage of the brutal removal of Cornelia Rau from Baxter.
The film shows 4 men dragging a frightened Cornelia out of the shower, naked and pleading to be left to shower herself. She is then strapped onto a stretcher with a sheet over her and carried out as she begs for her teddy bear. No female guards were used, no explanation given as to why she was dragged out of the shower naked and no psychologist, doctor or nurse was in evidence, just brute force.
This incident becomes even more revealing when we consider that this “extraction” was done after it was discovered that Ms Rau was not an “unlawful non-citizen” (UNC) but rather an Australian resident who was mentally ill. The system was on its best behaviour during this pitiless and rough handling.
The reason for this sudden removal from Baxter was to ensure that Ms Rau was in hospital when the news broke of her illegal imprisonment in an immigration detention centre.
Every incident in detention was filmed, providing conclusive evidence of what really happened. We need a Royal Commission to reveal this proof not just to remind us what happened under this brutal regime but to show conclusively why Mandatory Detention legislation must be repealed. Imprisoning people without charge, without the oversight of a judicial process, indefinitely and arbitrarily must stop.
The Rudd government wants to see Australia as a good global citizen, take a two year term on the UN Security Council in 2013. The Security Council hears reports from all organs of the United Nations, and can take action over any issue which it feels threatens peace and security, including human rights issues. How can Australia take its place while breaching the UN Human Rights Conventions with the policy of Mandatory Detention?
-- Pamela Curr Campaign coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre 12 Batman St Melbourne 3003 Ph 03 93266006 / Fax 03 93265199 www.asrc.org.au