Torture in Villawood - and Ombudsman meetings

CCL has been concerned about the treatment in Immigration Detention Centres, and particularly in Villawood, of detainees who are put into quarantine for fourteen days when they return from medical or dental appointments outside of the centres. 

Now The Saturday Paper reports that a detainee who was identified as a contact of a guard at Villawood who contracted COVID-19 has similarly been put into isolation in a room with no view outside and minimal furniture. Even worse, this time the light has been left on all night. This, as he complains, is a recognised form of torture.  

After CCL wrote to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Minister for Immigration about the quarantine arrangements, a meeting was set up between Pauline Wright, CCL President, Martin Bibby, Co-Convenor of CCL’s Asylum Seeker Action Group, and three members of the Office of the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman’s staff have been concerned for some time about the issue, and it was agreed that regular contact would be made between our two organisations about the issue.  Arrangements are underway for a group of CCL members to participate.