Female Villawood detainees stage protest hunger strike

| July 12, 2018 | Reply

Around 40 female detainees in Villawood are staging a protest hunger strike from 11.00am today, Thursday, 12 July.

The protest follows abrupt changes announced on Monday that confine all women to the Lima compound. The changes isolate the female detainees and deny them access to previously communal areas, and communal activities.

On Tuesday, 9 July, Serco guards enforcing the new Border Force rules brutally arrested one woman who tried to take food back into the Lima compound, a previously allowed practice, now outlawed.

Guards tried to prevent detainees filming the arrest on Tuesday; but the exposure of the guard’s use of excessive force has resulted in a noticeable “politeness” from guards since the exposure.

The changes in Lima are just the latest move by Border Force imposing arbitrary controls on detention centres, in the wake of them taking overall control of the detention regime.

Among the changes introduced are changes to visiting that require elaborate visitor e-accounts to be established and require cumbersome application and five days notice of request to visit, designed to severely restrict visits to the detention centres.

The ban on mobile phones, now overturned by the Federal Court, was also pushed to prevent scrutiny of the detention regime and create the most punitive possible conditions inside the detention centre.

The women in Lima are demanding an end to the discrimination against them, the return to the previous conditions that applied in Lima, and an inquiry into the brutal arrest of a single female by nine male guards last Tuesday, and the arbitrary powers of the guards.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

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