Villawood 9a - Witness to a death


Witness to a death

‘I was very angry and upset…I was trying to get to him but they were holding me tight.’

Eddie Rauluni (Josefa Rauluni’s nephew)

21 year old Eddie Rauluni watched his Uncle’s body hit the ground. He tried to go to Josefa Rauluni’s side but was restrained by Serco guards. He saw his uncle bleeding from the head.

‘The first person I spoke to, he was a babbling mess and just ended up crying and wasn’t able to say anything other than “I saw it, I saw it, I saw it” and just kept bawling his eyes out…The second time I called it was a different person, as soon as he heard my voice he started sobbing and saying “He’s dead, he’s dead, why are they doing this to us?’

Brami Jagen (advocate)



Two men embrace outside Villawood IDC between a fence and the suburban street. They and other community members are gathered to grieve Josefa Rauluni's death.[imagecaption] ABC Lateline Report, ‘Coroner concludes hearing into detention suicides’, 2011[/imagecaption]

In the aftermath of Josefa Rauluni’s death, Fijian community leaders were told that a service they had organised to have at the centre was cancelled. His friends, relatives and fellow prisoners were denied the space to collectively grieve.


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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.