Deathscapes

Weaponised Exposure 6h - Exporting Detention and Deaths in Custody

Deathscapes

Exporting Detention and Deaths in Custody

A group of men gather in front of a tall fence topped with razor wire. They stand with their arms raised and crossed above their heads in a display of protest and resistance.

[imagecaption] Protest inside Balikpapan Detention Centre, Indonesia, 2018. Photo: Refugees of Balikpapan. [/imagecaption]

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Australia effectively exports detention to Indonesia through the provision of funding for Indonesian detention centres. Deaths in and out of custody in Indonesia are a clear example of the ways in which transit countries are weaponised. Some responsibility for these deaths can be attributed to Australian policies. Muhammad Joniad, a 25 year old Rohingya refugee and lawyer from Rakhine State in Myanmar, has gathered stories of at least 17 people who have died by suicide or because they were unable to access medication or healthcare. Their cases are detailed in his report, ‘The Hidden Tragic Deaths of Refugees in Indonesia‘.

Known deaths of refugees and people seeking asylum living in limbo in Indonesia include:

February 2012: Taqi Nekoye (Pontianak immigration detention centre in Kalimantan), beaten to death by guards

2015: Ali Muhammad, 24 years (Surabaya detention centre), suicide by hanging

October 2017: Santhia (Jakarta hospital), kidney failure

January 2018: Unnamed Hazara man, suicide

March 2018: Hayatullah, 22 years old (Medan detention centre), suicide by hanging

October 2018: Abbas Mohammadi, 22 years (Batam detention centre), suicide by hanging

March 2019: Sajad Jacob, self-immolated after living in limbo in Indonesia for nearly two decades

Similarly, from the beginning of 2015 to the end of 2016 it was reported that there were over 100 deaths in Malaysian detention centres.


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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.

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