Oh, wait – so we actually are going the deterrent route on refugees? The only one that has a prospect of causing them to give up and live (well, maybe) in danger back home – trying to treat them worse than the places from which they’re fleeing?
Ms Woods fears for the asylum seekers’ mental health. ”They’re saying they will continue this hunger strike until they die because they feel powerless and trapped”. She described shade from soaring temperatures as inadequate, and said some people were unable to contact their families.
At the end of last week 390 detainees had been transferred to the centre, which is fast approaching its capacity of 500. Detainees live in tents with the Immigration Department yet to confirm completion dates for buildings.
As a hunger strike enters its 11th day the Immigration Department confirmed about 30 asylum seekers were treated for dehydration and heat-exhaustion symptoms last week.
Well, treating them with even a small amount more humanity than the worst places in the world is hardly going to work! (And by “work” I mean “bully them into going somewhere else”.)
That’s what I love about Australia – our capacity to abandon all pretense of humanity in order to save ourselves from the minor inconvenience of helping a small number of refugees seeking the kind of assistance we’d demand ourselves if anything ever happened to us here. We’re AWESOME. Best country in the world, mate!