Deathscapes

Guantanamo 6d - State Violence: onshore/offshore

Deathscapes

State Violence: onshore/offshore

An excerpt of a letter written by a man detained on Manus Island. It reads 'So Australian government rent Manus Island they place which they themselves call it a remote place and exile his boat arrivals in there by the name of processing centre which in fact is a torturing centre. Torture does not only mean that some people kidnap you and tie you upon a chair, beat you up or cut you off. Torture can be done in many ways, for example when they put people in a place which is metal made tunnel 70+ years old from WWII full of dust with 150+ detainees with big metal fans which is blowing the heat into your face the heat which is almost 40+ degrees celsius and 90% of hummidity that is a kind of torture.'

[imagecaption] The letter below, written in 2014, refers to offshore processing as being a current version of Guantanamo; a ‘torturing centre’ for refugees. Page 1 of a letter entitled "What is offshore processing?" reads, 'What is offshore processing? A reminder to the Australian people. People who care about humanity might read this. The main information in here is about the Australian offshore detentions. They call it Regional Processing Centres in Manus Island and Nauru and they call detainees transferees. It is all a game or a treak [trick] to skip the Australian laws and more obvious the international laws. Simply offshore processing is a mordern version of Guantanamo an exile. So Australian government rent Manus Island they place which they themselves call it a remote place and exile his boat arrivals in there by the name of processing centre which in fact is a torturing centre. Torture does not only mean that some people kidnap you and tie you upon a chair, beat you up or cut you off. Torture can be done in many ways, for example when they put people in a place which is metal made tunnel 70+ years old from WWII full of dust with 150+ detainees with big metal fans which is blowing the heat into your face the heat which is almost 40+ degrees Celsius and 90% of hummidity that is a kind of torture. When they put people in old rooms which is made of wood with metal roofs which is trapping the heat from morning until the evening and when you sleep you will be feeling..'Page 2 of a letter entitled "What is offshore processing?" it reads, '...like sleeping in sea water that is another kind of torture. Most of the detainees suffer from skin funges and heat rashes because of the weather. When the security guards keep telling you that locals are canibals and when you go out of this place you will be cut into pices and in another hand they tell you this is where you will be resettd that is simply traumatising. But because it is in a remot [remote] place and nobody can hear detainees that's when they can do this [these] things. There is no advantage of offshore expect deterence. Offshore is too costly compare to any other plans but they can do whatever they want to detainees in offshore without anyone stopping them. There are many things happening here to the detainees that if I want to write them done it will be a tick boock to read. And finaly offshore processing is where a detainee will get a simple infection and dies with an outstanding medical service. - Manus Island detainees'[/imagecaption]

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The ABC TV program, ‘Australia’s Shame‘ exposed the treatment of young, mostly Aboriginal prisoners held in  Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in the Northern Territory, calling attention to the use of spit-hoods and restraint chairs in particular. Following public outrage in response to the Don Dale Footage, Australian Border Force (ABF) issued a media release addressing the use of spit masks in immigration detention.

In his contribution to the Save Eaten Fish campaign, Chris Kelly drew Eaten Fish in the posture of the Aboriginal youth Dylan Voller bound in a restraint chair. The Don Dale footage caused shock and outrage, evoking the infamous photographs of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Kelly’s cartoon links the regimes of ‘onshore’ detention of Indigenous people and the ‘offshore’ detention of refugees.  Three sites of detention–offshore prisons, mainland detention centres and the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan– are  linked by the contracting companies who work across them, by organizational structures, personnel, shared technologies and practices ( such as the use of dogs to induce terror) and the same lexicon of criminality (‘the worst of the worst’).


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