The statement below was released by the Refugee Action Collective Victoria on February 14.
As tensions once again rise at MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation) in Broadmeadows, an Iranian man, aged 28, stitched his lips up this morning (Monday) as a sign of desperation. He has been detained for 11 months.
His friend told Serco and medical staff that he was concerned about his friend and warned them. Serco responded after the incident which was too late. Now they are checking up on him every 30 minutes. This news comes as updated department figures are released showing 4783 including 528 children are still detained.
“We are concerned that this man is not drinking water,” said Daniella Olea, a Refugee Action Collective member and regular visitor. "It is absolutely appalling that we are locking innocent people up to the point that they would do this to themselves. Our refugee policy is rotten to the core and must be dismantled immediately. Anything short of that is just inhumane."
The lip-stiching follows a hunger strike, of up to six detainees, a few weeks ago, during which one man was found lying by a fence and refusing to move.