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RECENT AND CONTEXTUALISING

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Calls for Royal Commission into Immigration Detention

"Asylum seekers and refugee advocates are demanding the Albanese government establish a royal commission into immigration detention.

A campaign backed by independent politicians including Kylea Tink is calling for a comprehensive investigation of the long-standing bipartisan policy.

Kurdish artist and musician Farhad Bandesh, who came to Australia by boat after fleeing political persecution in Iran, was held for six years on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

He recounted being beaten, denied basic necessities and, for two years, bleeding continuously as detention centre staff refused him medical attention.

“This whole system is cruel and wants everybody to be silent – they tried to bury us alive,” he told AAP."

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The New Daily

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'This country failed them': calls for detention inquiry

Former Immigration detainees have described harrowing experiences and the death of their friends as they call for a royal commission into the detention scheme. 

Refugee rights campaigner Zaki Haidari recalled his friend taking his own life after suffering in immigration detention when he sought asylum, saying he didn't feel he was respected as a human.

He also pointed to the experience of a man who set himself on fire after saying he abandoned hopes of humanity in Australia.

"They survived the horrific boat journey seeking freedom, human rights and justice, but this country failed them to a point they took their lives," he told an event in Canberra on Tuesday.

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Nauru Files whistleblower speaks for first time about Australia's offshore detention leak

“The way the offshore processing centre was run was meant to punish people for seeking asylum,” Simone says. Asylum seekers had for years tried to raise the alarm about conditions offshore, as had some staff. But these stories simply slipped in and out of the news. Simone says it felt like “the Australian public had no idea what was going on”.

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ABC

Artwork from the ABC depicting images of blurred faces and photos from Nauru offshore detention

ABC Emma Machan Posted Sat 28 Oct 2023 at 6:03am 

Support growing for a Royal Commission:
Twitter X Post Craig Foster "you need a right winger in there, people smugglers will be watching"

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Australia’s Home Affairs Department oversaw the payment of millions of taxpayer dollars to powerful Pacific Island politicians through a chain of suspect contracts as it sought to maintain controversial offshore asylum seeker processing centres.

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Sydney Morning Herald 

Australia’s Home Affairs Department used vast sums of taxpayer money to fund suspect payments to powerful Pacific Island politicians, specifically to run offshore processing of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island.

A major investigation by The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald has found a secret money trail beginning in Home Affairs coffers and ending with payments to bank accounts controlled by powerful Pacific Island politicians.

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Sydney Morning Herald

The controversial US private prisons operator running Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru has been handed a $420m Australian government contract to run ‘garrison and welfare’ on the island for three years, managing fewer than 70 people. The Australian arm of Management and Training Corporation (MTC) was awarded the contract despite a string of scandals in the US.

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The Guardian

Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer Jennifer Kanis, who heads the firm’s social justice practice, said the witness statements and images “shine a light on a dark chapter of Australian history”.

“They bear witness to the unimaginable inhumanity experienced by the women, men and children incarcerated over many years. Our clients were degraded, dehumanised and had their lives devalued over many years in the camps on Nauru and Manus Island. Their statements describe the horror of life in detention including physical and sexual violence, racism, discrimination and self-harm.”

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The Guardian 

“I booted it up and what flashed on to the screen was most comprehensive archive I’d ever seen of what was happening at the Nauru [immigration detention] facility at the time. Accounts from guards, caseworkers and teachers of horrific incidents they’d observed: self-harm, violence, hunger strikes. There was just this overwhelming sense of despair.”

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The Guardian

Sweeping new migration laws and policies including setting up a parliamentary inquiry into offshore detention, establishing a special envoy for refugees, increasing work, study and welfare rights for asylum-seekers and legislating to ensure asylum-seekers are not held in detention for longer than 90 days have been rubber-stamped in the ALP platform.

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The Australian 

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