by Pamela Curr
FORCED REMOVAL– how it was done
-Lest we forget
“…it is not their violence, it is ours, which turns back on itself and rends them; and the first action of these oppressed creatures is to bury deep down that hidden anger which their and our moralities condemn and which is however only the last refuge of their humanity.”
—John Paul Sartre in the preface to
“The Wretched of the Earth”
by Frantz Fanon
In 2001 when the Australian ship Manoora sailed to Nauru with its cargo of asylum seekers, it was anticipated that the Iraqis on board would resist embarkation.
These people knew only too well that while they were on the ship, they were Australia’s responsibility. Once off the boat they had no idea what lay in store.
‘The Chili technique’ used on refugee childrens’ rice
The Australian Navy laced the food with chili and limited water for 3 days prior to arrival in Nauru. Iraqi Mothers told me later that they begged the Navy to at least not put the chili through the childrens’ rice. The Mothers told me that their children were so hungry that they cried as they tried to eat the rice through cracked lips.
We have never discovered from where this clever plan originated. http://www.rac-vic.org/html/01Tampa.htm
More weasel words here- it was only years later that we found out about the Chili technique.
There were Afghan asylum seekers on the same boat. They did not discover each other until the end of the journey because the Afghan men, women and children were held below deck next to the engine room for the entire trip. They spent their time shuffling between the toilet, water and food queues in an atmosphere of smoke, noise and heat. The Navy judged that their conditions were so appalling that they would want to get off as soon as possible.
During Operation Relex on the Warramunga the Navy forced men and women apart by taking the children onto another boat. In one instance witnesses report a baby being thrown from the ship into the hold of a boat. When the women and children were taken on to the other boat, the men were forced down into the hold of the ship where they were crammed sitting under armed guard for days. They were only lifted out when they fainted. http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/scorning-those-in-need/2006/06/26/1151174130006.html
Australian governments have form on using force on asylum seekers. The Indonesian government do not have the stomach for this sort of harsh response so far.
We ask the media to watch carefully and alert Australians to any similar brutality. We are forewarned this time. We know the tricks. This is the only protection these people have. http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/s531993.htm
— Pamela Curr Campaign Coordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) 12 Batman Street Melbourne 3003 Tel 03 93266066/ fax 0393265199/mob 0417517075