Deathscapes

Guantanamo 6a - Australia's Guantánamo

Deathscapes

Australia’s Guantánamo

A shirtless man protests, kneeling on the ground, with a cloth bag or hood pulled over his head and hands tied behind his back. He holds a piece of paper declaring his boat ID EDE039. A banner is hung on a fence directly behind him which reads, "I challenge those who claim Manus detainees 'live like kings' to swap their places with us".

[imagecaption]  A shirtless man protests, kneeling on the ground, with a cloth bag over his head and hands tied behind his back. He holds a piece of paper declaring his boat ID EDE039. A banner is hung on a fence directly behind him which reads, "I challenge those who claim Manus detainees 'live like kings' to swap their places with us". Protest on Manus, 2016. Photo via: Citizen X Disclosures. In this photo a man detained at the Manus Island RPC responds to statements that Manus Island detainees are ‘treated like kings’ by comparing their condition to that of people detained and tortured at Guantánamo Bay. [/imagecaption]

[BREAK]

Australia’s prison camps on Manus and Nauru have been described as ‘Australia’s Guantánamo’. Researchers Against Pacific Black Sites draws structural parallels between aspects of the war on terror and Australia’s offshore policies. They argue that Australia’s prison camps function as ‘black sites’  and ‘open the door to torture’.

Dr David Isaacs, who previously worked in the Nauru detention centre,  made the same connection, while Dr Peter Young, former director of IHMS mental health services, stated that it was a ‘regime akin to torture‘.  They argue that the ‘deterrence’ objective is a clear indication that detention is intended to be a damaging and traumatic experience.

Australia’s political prisoners detained on the islands have frequently made the comparison with Guantánamo in letters and statements to the media. In an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Behrouz Boochani questioned ‘Why won’t you tell me how many years I must stay in your Guantánamo?’


Sharing

Please Read

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are respectfully advised that this website contains images of and references to deceased persons.

All viewers are respectfully advised that the site contains images of and references to the deaths in custody of Indigenous peoples, Black people and refugees that may cause distress.

Proceed