Ruddock, Court threaten detainees
By Sean Healy
Immigration minister Philip Ruddock took time out of his busy schedule on February 14 to personally warn asylum seekers at the Curtin air base in WA that if they make trouble again, they will all be deported.
The minister's visit to the camp, accompanied by Senator Kay Patterson, Premier Richard Court and an Islamic leader, followed a week-long hunger strike by asylum seekers in the remote camp 40 kilometres from Derby.
Green Left Weekly's sources inside the camp have revealed that the parliamentarians told detainees that, because they breached Australia's immigration laws to get into the country, they had no rights. They were warned that if they took protest action again, they would be sent back to the countries from which they fled.
Our sources have also revealed that, since the hunger strike, detainees have been cut off altogether from contact with the outside world. Even requests to make urgent telephone calls to family members within Australia are now being denied.