End of hope

On this night like any other night
Maybe raining maybe clear
In a world exploding is any heart open

Can you hear us

Can you hear

‘article 14’ words and music by tony mockeridge

The 4 am ABC news just announced an Iraqi man has taken his own life.

Not in Baghdad; in Sydney, Australia, the land of the great fair go.

Such deaths are preventable.

The report said that he had been detained for over a year.

So, just after midnight, 16 November 2010, in Villawood detention Centre, he ended his life.

An Iranian refugee at the centre said:

“They (detainees in Villawood) are very very upset and confused and they couldn’t sleep, they want to be awake until morning and they want to start the hunger strike” (ABC Report)

What refugees see on arrival at Christmas Island Jetty

Second suicide in as many months at Villawood another hunger strike.

“We start to do the hunger strike for showing my protest against the act of Immigration, and we want to mourn for this man who died,” a refugee said. (ABC Report)

The dead man had asked to be sent back to Iraq to be with his wife and children.

Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition says he hopes this latest incident will lead to change.

What about the wife and kids this poor man had back home?

How will they cope? Isn’t the Australian government also responsible for his death?

Ian Rintoul went on to say:

“The fact is that there have been suicides and deaths inside detention previously and we haven’t seen a lot of change, but at some point the Government will have [to change],” he said. (ABC Report)

“The reality is we cannot keep presiding over the dysfunctional system that is mandatory detention.”

Iraq is in chaos, Australian governments help make it dysfunctional by following the United States to war. Iraq – still occupied by the US military and a huge private army to protect the oil cartels.

Car bombs, social decay, go on to this day.

Federal government policies are the killers of hope.

In Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Australia.

No more wars, no mandatory detention, no more deaths in custody are empty dreams while this mob govern.

My thoughts now so insightful
Too late to ease the pain
The crying of the children
The innocent the slain
And I’m up against your window
My face pressed to the glass
Please let me in
Please let me in

‘article 14’ words and music by tony mockeridge © apra 2010 member no. 643913

Ian Curr
November  2010

Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”[2]

ABC Report: “Tensions rise after Villawood death”

2 thoughts on “End of hope

  1. Pamela Curr says:

    Ahmad Obeid Al Akabi – may he rest in peace
    Around midnight last night (15th of November), father of three, Ahmad Obeid Al Akabi in lonely desperation ended his life.

    His claim for asylum has been rejected twice and he faced possible deportation to Iraq where he feared he will be killed.

    Ahmad has been in Immigration detention for over 12 months.

    This is the second death at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in less than two months.

    Teenagers are cutting themselves in distress and threatening to end their lives.

    The question for this government is how many must die for their brutal mandatory detention policy.

    When will Labor and Liberal stop this vicious race to the bottom in the competition to prove themselves tough on asylum seekers?

    Pamela Curr
    Campaign Coordinator
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    12 Batman St West Melbourne 3003
    ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075

  2. Pamela Curr says:

    The death by suicide of Mr Ahmad Obeid al Akabi illustrates the deficiencies in the IAAAS program in which legal advice is given to people in detention to make their applications.

    The contracts have been awarded to six companies and community legal services.

    Asylum seekers are randomly allocated to lawyers and migration agents- they have no choice or knowledge of their agent.

    Some of these are excellent offering their clients a service to the end.

    Three of these represent the clients only up to Merits review stage.

    This man fell in this group so officially he had no legal representative as he was refused at Merits review.

    The government has still not clarified the process it will take in accord with the High Court judgement.

    This man would have had no access to legal advice to inform him that his case could be reviewed as a result of the High Court Decision.

    What information has the Government or Immigration Department given to the people refused at IMR who now have access to a review of their cases?

    Did this man die not knowing that his case could be reviewed?

    What health services were available to this man in Villawood?

    What assistance was he receiving considering that he was in a suicidal

    Will anyone remember Mr al Akabi in two or three years time when the
    Coroner finally examines the reasons why he died?

    ps I have informed the company that their former client is now dead- they did not know.

    Pamela Curr

    Pamela Curr
    Campaign Coordinator
    Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
    12 Batman St West Melbourne 3003
    ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075

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