The initial findings of Amnesty International’s recent detention centre visits, reiterate the organisation’s long held position that the indefinite and prolonged detention of asylum seekers in Australia is a failed policy that contravenes human rights standards.
The most serious and damaging conditions faced by asylum seekers in immigration detention are the length of time and the indefinite nature of their imprisonment. Among the asylum seekers who had been in detention for extended periods, self harm and attempted suicides were talked about as a fact of life. The use of sleeping pills and other medication was also widespread.
The Christmas Island Northwest Point Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) is overwhelmingly and unacceptably prison-like. The facility is too harsh to house people who have not committed a crime. Adding to the restrictive environment is the new behaviour management regime in the White compound.