Statement from an asylum seeker who was transferred from Wickham Point to Nauru

We could hardly believe this so have waited for a definite report. Here it is. This is what is done to force frightened people back to the hell of Nauru.

Imagine the effect on children – would any of us want this done to ours?

Transfer from Wickham Point detention centre near Darwin to Nauru on Wednesday 24

Arezo* had been brought to Australia from Nauru for medical care. She was sexually assaulted in Nauru and reported this to the Moss Review.

Arezo says asylum seekers were forcibly removed from Wickham Point in the dead of night last Wednesday and taken to a prison, where they were held for many hours, before being taken to the airport.

She says asylum seekers were strip-searched by Serco officers at the prison.

Arezo also says one woman attempted suicide.

She told me that 48 asylum seekers were sent to Nauru, including 9 children, 3 of whom were babies.

This is her statement:

“We were all sleeping at night when the sound of dogs woke me up at one o’clock in the morning. I saw through the window of my room that about forty anti-riot guards attacked on the front doors of rooms that people whose names were in the list of returning to Nauru stayed there. They took everyone, including me, violently to the buses waiting for us. Anyone who resisted, they tied their hands by the use of force and with plastic handcuffs.

“There was a lady with her husband and her six year old son. She resisted getting on the bus. She was dragged to the bus and was put on the bus. There was a lady officer standing next to her, and she was having a plastic handcuffs in order to handcuff her. When the asylum seeker started screaming, the lady officer shook her shoulder with her palm and asked her to shut up: ‘you should be quiet, otherwise, if you scream one more time or make any loud voices, we will put you in an individual car by use of force and take you to the jail.’ She was scared and became silent because she had severe depression, and, before she was taken she was under high watch because she attempted suicide many times before. When we got to the prison, the lady cut her wrist with razor and she was taken to a place that we are still not aware of.

“When we were all collected and boarded, the bus left the place (Wickham Point). There were also many officers, special guards and immigration officers on the bus. After twenty minutes, we arrived at a prison. I was extremely stressed, I took a look at the name of the prison, but due to my severe stress, I could not read it. Afterwards, we were taken to a hall with a lot of cells around it, cells with metallic doors. We stayed in the hall from 3am to 10am.

“The immigration officer started to talk to us. He informed us that we would definitely be transferred to Nauru, and suggested try not to resist.

“Later on, everyone including women, men and children were taken to bathrooms. Female officers were assigned to accompany women and male officers were supposed to go with men. We were asked to remove all our clothes in front of officers, and give our clothes to them one by one. They provided us with some special clothing. Clothes were all similar to each other, all plain, black or dark blue.

“We took a shower in front of the officers who were standing in front of the showers. They wanted to make sure that we did not have anything with ourselves to use for committing suicide. Everyone entered the bath area one by one, including women and kids. Kids were also forced to change their clothes in front of officers. Parents were with their children when this happened.

“We had to shower in front of them (officers) completely naked. I asked/objected to no look at me but the officer insisted and she said I didn’t have any other choice. There was no curtain between officers and us.

“They took us to the airport at 11 in the morning. The airport was very close to that prison because we could hear the sound of other flights easily when we were in there. Also, it just took ten minutes to get to the airport. We got off the bus right in front of the airplane stairs. It was an airline from Nauru. The plane stopped at Cairns and then we arrived in Nauru at 8:30pm.”

A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told me they “wouldn’t be able to comment on operational matters” when I asked if asylum seekers were held in a prison before being taken to the airport.

When I asked them if the dogs were brought into Wickham Point last Wednesday, the spokesperson said “I’m not sure about that. It wouldn’t be something we’d comment on.”

darwin baby for nauru
darwin baby for nauru

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