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Worrying Times

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  • Eric J. Yeomans
    Subject: Fw: Drunken police officers engage in racial & religious abuse of detainees Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 22:19:45 +1100 From: Bill Hartley To: Eric J.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 2, 2003
      Fw: Drunken police officers engage in racial & religious abuse
      Thu, 2 Jan 2003 22:19:45 +1100
      Bill Hartley
      "Eric J. Yeomans" <ericyeo@...>

      January 2 03

      Dear Eric: I know some of your group are a snag on refugee issues.
      this is alarming stuff and should be known widely.
      All the best for a peaceful New Year - we live in hope!.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "ilal" <ilal@...>
      To: <interfaithanswer@yahoogroups.com>; "Muslim Media Watch List"
      Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 7:40 PM
      Subject: Fw: Drunken police officers engage in racial & religious
      abuse of

      > Americo, who is a refugee advocate from here in Melbourne, sent this
      > It is very disturbing.
      > If you have any media contacts please send it to them.
      > Americo can be contacted. His mobile number is below.
      > Please follow this up.
      > In Peace
      > Bilal Cleland
      > Human Rights Coordinator,
      > Ioslamic Council of Victoria
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: "amex" <videoteppista@...>
      > > rest to follow asap.
      > > interviews with detainees regarding
      > > an incident at the Port Hedland detention centre on the night of
      > > the 31/12/2 and 1/1/3
      > >
      > > below is further information.
      > > if you have any further queries please contact me
      > > regards
      > > Americo Caponetto
      > > 0415 939597
      > >
      > > INTRODUCTION: 24-hour police surveillance since the big fires at
      > detention centres is only a small part of the latest government hard
      > against refugees. The Port Hedland cop incident is yet another malicious
      > body blow dealt by the Australian government to break the spirit of
      > refugees. As if there was much that detainees could smuggle in one day,
      > Hedland police "enter" the detainees' rooms every hour. According to
      > detainees, police are looking for confrontation. The police laugh at
      > detainees, deriding and racially abusing them. They play stupid games
      > refugees' shoes positioned in front of the room doors, by kicking them
      > across the corridors, and entertaining themselves while watching
      > pick them up. They wait for the anger of detainees to explode, but the
      > detainees don't fall for it. When cops are not "searching rooms" they
      > usually sit around, deriding the detainees, and closing doors between
      > compounds so detainees cannot communicate. The cops are
      > > abusive, but the detainees don't respond. After all, if a
      > would erupt, who would believe them? Video evidence would incriminate
      > so cameras are conveniently switched off during riots, leaving no
      > to prove incidents of human rights abuse. So the refugees suffer in
      > silence......
      > >
      > > Q: Can you please tell me what happened last night, New Year's Eve? A:
      > Last night, about 12-16 officers came, police men, come here. They were
      > drunk, laughing at us. They were laughing, and come to everyone's room,
      > they have sticks. Q: They had sticks. Batons. A: With batons, they beat
      > everyone's door, like drunkie, and everyone wake up, and they told to
      > "Please, we stay here 4 years, 5 years, and our hair becomes white, and
      > have become crazy. Why do you disturb us like this? What do you want?"
      > they were laughing and saying, "This is our duty, and we can do anything
      > want." Q: Is that what they said? "It's our duty, and we can do anything
      > want"? A: Yes. Yes. I can tell in front of them, too. Q: Were the police
      > officers in uniform? A: Yes. Q: Did they have their names on their shirt?
      > Yes. Q: Do you remember any names, by any chance? A: One officer, if I
      > him tonight again I will ask him his name. Q: Tell them, by law they must
      > tell you their
      > > name and number. A: At midnight I was sleeping in my room, and they
      > my shoes out of my room, and they kick every shoes, and they throw 3 or 4
      > metres far from the room - shoes. Q: And you said they were drunk. A:
      > were drunk. Yes. Q: How do you know they were drunk? A: Because smell. I
      > smell. And they was laughing, and when I go near to them I ask, "Why do
      > want to disturb us?" And when he speak to me, I smell he was very drunk.
      > Did he say anything to you personally? A: No. He said, "Don't be smart.
      > back to your room. This is our duty. If we want anything we can do this."
      > Do you know, in front of the rooms, are there any video cameras, like ACM
      > cameras on the roof? A: No. They have camera on themselves, and ACM have
      > cameras, too. Q: ACM officers were having cameras and filming this. A:
      > no, they don't film these things. If someone make problem, or if they
      > disturb detainees, if they disturb us, they don't make film. Q: Of
      > A: But you know, last
      > > night, in here, police - everybody tell to them, "We burn this fire
      > because we are tired. Four years we stay here." Everybody say to them,
      > you want to take us to jail, take us, but don't disturb us like this." Q:
      > What did the police say? A: He said, "It's our job." Q: What did ACM or
      > DIMIA say? Did Di Medler from DIMIA say anything? Was she there? A: No.
      > don't want to see any residents. She don't want to come here. ACM
      > in turn are happy the police do with us like this, and they are laughing
      > with each other. Q: The ACM officers were happy - - - A: Yes. They are
      > happy, too. Q: Did you go to Di Medler and complain about this, and she
      > she doesn't want to know? A: She don't want to know about anything. Q:
      > did she say? A: She doesn't say to me anything, but one guy, yesterday,
      > wanted to meet to Di Medler and she said, "I don't want to meet with
      > I don't want to speak to anyone." And yesterday they gave us paper about
      > visa application - - - Q: Pape
      > > r for visa application. A: They refuse everyone visa, and they say "We
      > will not take your process in federal or anywhere." And today they give
      > to everyone, and they say that no more visa. Q: That's from DIMIA. DIMIA
      > sent that. A: Someone send to DIMIA, and from DIMIA tell to us. Q: That
      > the government - after the fires, the government was saying on TV that
      > the people, they are not real refugees, and bullshit like this, and they
      > want to make everybody scared. Don't believe everything they say. A: But
      > everybody in here crazy. They are not scared. They are just crazy in
      > and they don't know what we are doing. Trust me. In here, too many people
      > are crazy. Doctors, too, know about them, but they don't want to - their
      > treatment or anything - some people go really crazy. A: They threat
      > here. Q: They what, sorry? A: They threat people, and make people angry
      > here. Q: Yes. A: And because they make angry, if they do something, they
      > happy, but in here people don
      > > 't do anything. You know, everyone is tired here and become nervous in
      > here. Q: I'm very sorry for this situation. A: It's OK. It's our luck.
      > night police came here, but behaviour of them is not good. Q: Sorry. A:
      > behaviour. Q: The behaviour of the police was not good. A: I think they
      > some drink. They came and push in the building, and they kick all the
      > of the detainee, because we put the shoes behind the door. Q: Why did
      > do that? They kicked the shoes out of the way. A: Yes. I don't know why
      > do this. Maybe they want to anger the detainees. Q: They want to scare
      > detainees, but you are not scared. A: Yes. All of the detainees relax,
      > the behaviour of the police is not good. And last night when the
      > were asleep, they kick to the door and wake up the detainees. Q: Do you
      > remember the time? A: Half past three. Q: Half past three in the night.
      > Yes. After midnight. And you know, each hour they came, and storm in the
      > building, walk in th
      > > e building with batons, and kick to the door and walls. And most of the
      > people here are Muslim, and they pray in their room, and police with
      > come in the room. Q: With the shoes. And that is against Muslim - - - A:
      > when we said to the police, "People here pray, and Muslim, and you must
      > come with shoes in the room," but police laugh to us and say, "I'm not
      > Muslim, and this is Australia, and we don't like Muslim people." Q: Did
      > police say "We don't like Muslim people"? A: Yes. And when we said to the
      > ACM manager here, we said Australian government sent these police here
      > we could not do anything. Q: Say again. Can you repeat this? A: When we
      > complain to ACM manager - - - Q; What's the name of the ACM manager? A:
      > James Dan. I don't know what surname. He said Australian government sent
      > police here, and we could not do anything. Q: Did you make a complaint,
      > did someone make a complaint to the DIMIA manager, Di Medler? A: No.
      > manager, after fire, didn't c
      > > ome to detention. Also, yesterday DIMIA give us letter, to all of the
      > people. Q: Saying you are not real refugees. A: ........... Q: Don't
      > that. You know what you can do with that letter? Tear it apart and throw
      > in the bin. A: Yes. Q: It's nothing. They just want to scare you. Don't
      > believe anything they're saying. A: Yes. We have no problem with that. Q:
      > About that letter, they have published that letter also in the
      > so it's just like part of the government - the government wants to scare
      > everybody, and they want to scare the Australian people, so the
      > people are scared of the refugees. You know what I mean. A: Yes. Q: With
      > fires - when the fires happened, the Australian government was very happy
      > that the fire happened, because - you know why? Because the Australian
      > people will think refugees are criminals. So, for the government, it's a
      > very good thing, the fires. A: No-one here criminal, or no-one here -
      > someone - just they are refugees -
      > > and everybody is in rooms - too many police here. Q: The police are
      > inside. A: Yes. Q: So they came last night at 12.15. A: They came
      > afternoon, and they are still here, and for few days maybe they will
      > Q: And who are the other police officers that came, drunk in the night?
      > They are in night time, they come here. Q: The night shift of the police.
      > see. So there is 24 hour police guard at the centre right now, since
      > yesterday afternoon. A: About 24 police. Q: 24 police officers in every
      > shift. A: Just - in here, everybody very tired, and they want to just -
      > don't want to live here any more. Q: I know. I'm sorry, man. Tell
      > inside the centre to relax, don't do anything, don't make protest. Don't
      > make anything. A: No. They don't want to do anything. Q: Because you know
      > that's what the government wants. They want you to do these things, you
      > know. A: Last night, like policeman, and he want to do some - angry
      > people - - - Q: He wanted to make p
      > > eople angry. A: He do very silly thing with his stick. He knock the
      > with shout, high volume, you know, and my heart was dub-dub-dub-dub. I
      > up quickly. I become - you know, my blood pressure become very - and I
      > become scare - and I want - and I want to come out here, everybody angry
      > with officer, and say, "Please, leave us in peace, we are not Muslim. If
      > think we are Muslim, you want disturb us. In here some Muslim, but we are
      > not Muslim. We scare from our country, and don't do with us like this. Q:
      > What do you mean, "We are not Muslim"? A: Too many people here Christian,
      > too. Q: Yes. Lot's of people are Christian. A: They say, "Why do you
      > us like this? If you want to disturb Muslim, we are not Muslim. You don't
      > like Muslim, but why do you disturb us?" Q: And what did they say? A:
      > say, "It's our job. We can do anything." Q: Yes. OK. END TRANSCRIPT
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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