Detention centre puts on a show for the ombudsman

Issue 

Green Left Weekly reported in its last issue (#828, March 3) that the immigration ombudsman was about to visit the Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, and that coincidentally, construction of a gym in the alpha compound had commenced.

Asylum seekers who did not want their names released, told GLW that since the ombudsman's visit, construction had ceased. They said the ombudsman expressed concern about the surveillance cameras in high-security red compound.

An immigration department spokesperson told GLW recently that a large order of Tamil books had been received. However, asylum seekers said they have not seen the books. They said there is a shortage of books and electronic resources for those who want to study English and there is no access to library and learning facilities in the red and alpha compounds.

About 50 Tamil asylum seekers arrived recently by boat and a further 174 asylum seekers are expected from another boat. Tents have been erected in alpha compound for the more than 100 asylum seekers.

The men charged with regard to a recent fight in the detention centre are still being kept in isolation in this compound.

Refugees in all compounds have complained that requests for medical assistance have sometimes been delayed for many months.

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