Curtin Detention Centre

“Thank you for these protests. We love you and our hearts are with you in this moment.” This message was sent from a refugee inside Northam Detention Centre in West Australia to activists who were protesting outside in 2014. Messages like this inspire many of us to get active and persist with campaigns to make the world more humane. A whole generation, to which I belong, has only known mandatory detention: it was introduced by “left” Labor immigration minister Gerry Hand in 1992.

The released the statement below on April 30, in response to apparent plans to move children and women to high-security detention centres in Australia’s north and north-west. Wickham Point detention centre, near Darwin, was built by the Labor government in 2011. Curtin detention centre, with Christmas Island and the Northern Immigration Detention Centre, has one of the highest rates of self-harm.

The smuggling of cameras inside detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island by the has added to pressure on Labor to answer for the shocking conditions in which men, women and children are being held. Footage that was aired on April 29 showed rows of muddy tents, derelict amenities and ablution facilities and image after image of people who are losing the will to live.
The situation inside every one of Australia’s refugee detention centres has grown dangerously volatile. Just days after the Christmas Island breakout and subsequent protests, nine refugees climbed on the roof of a detention centre in Darwin after watching the assault of another refugee on March 15. Two days later, a 20-year-old Afghan man hanged himself with a bedsheet at the Scherger detention centre after his refugee application was rejected.
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