Detainees are on hunger strike at MITA detention centre in Melbourne : 11/01/2019

Recently the Australian government decided to “close down” Maribyrnong detention centre and forcefully moved detainees to MITA (Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation), located in the Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows. The detainees are on hunger strike over the last few days due to the nature of a newly upgraded detention compound into prison style.

MITA has a long history of human rights violations and forceful deportation of hundreds of refugees. This newly made compound is built as prison style, meaning that there is absolutely no privacy for detainees, including no door within detainees’ sleeping areas as well as open toilets. The sink is on top of the toilet and is made out of steel. Those who need to shave and brush their teeth will be forced to sit on top of the toilet bowl to be able to reach the sink.  All recreational activities are minimised and are made to be as inaccessible to detainees as possible.

Recently, I obtained distressing video footage from MITA detainees which indicates that SERCO guards are forcefully removing and restraining detainees inhumanely. These types of manhandling have been happening for over 20 years in Australian-run detention centres. We should not forget that the current MITA hunger strike is caused by unlawful long term detention, as well as the deteriorating mental health of detainees caused by the detention system.

Australian governments both past and present have blood on their hands detaining refugees in detention indefinitely.  Next time when we say “Australia/Victoria is an inclusive country/state”, just speak to an eX-detainee and they will spell it out really well.  We don’t need any upgrades! We don’t need human rights investigations! We don’t need “humane conditions” in MITA! We want it to be closed down permanently and freedom for all survivors of torture and abuse.

MITA eX-detainee, X

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