Villawood 12f - Safety out of reach


Safety Out of Reach

Ahmed Al-Akabi missed two appointments with the Psychologist and then the Psychiatrist in the week before his death. On neither of these occasions was there an attempt to actively seek out Mr Al-Akabi for consultation.

Suresh Sundram wrote, ‘The inability or failure to out-reach by the mental health team to access detainees is a significant short-coming and may have resulted in different interventions in the week leading up to his death with the possibility of its prevention.’

Jamal Douad, from the Social Justice Network later stated that ‘for the past few days Mr al-Akabi’s friends had been watching him around the clock because they were so worried about him… his wife had asked him to come home recently as she was struggling to cope.’

Mid-October Ahmed Al-Akabi requested to be transferred to another detention centre, stating that he was intimidated by other Iraqis. He later formalised this request in writing.

‘My health is not very good. I want to be transferred to Melbourne, where I have friends and relatives to look after me… Because of my mental health and heart problems. I need their support. I don’t have anyone here, no one visits me here.’

Ahmed Al-Akabi, 29 October 2010

On 18 October Ahmed Al-Akabi presented to an IHMS worker and indicated a constant preoccupation about his family, guilt at abandoning them and excessive crying when speaking to them.

He requested to return to Iraq.

On 11 November he withdrew his request due to concerns about safety.


A figure stands in a desolate landscape, bound in rope. Their face is looking down and cast in shadow. Two piercing eyes appear in the sky above.

[imagecaption] Alwy Fadhel, ‘Bound’, coffee on paper[/imagecaption]

‘I have been in detention now for sixteen months and I am so worried about my family. People go back home. Some people just give up. It is not safe there. But it is not safe here either.’

Man detained in Fowler compound at Villawood IDC, quoted in AHRC Report ‘Immigration Detention at Villawood: Summary of Observations’, 2011′



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