The ABC explains:
The stories of the 41 asylum seekers returned
to Sri Lanka include violent political persecution and terrorisation by criminal gangs. The boat's passengers describe a mixture of good treatment and mistreatment by Australian authorities, including being punched
, and denied medical treatment
. One passenger described the "enhanced screening" process: "I could not understand the language and the line was also very bad. I never had an opportunity to tell them what I wanted."
Reports of attempted suicides by ten women on Christmas Island have been dismissed by the government, with Senator Eric Abetz stating that only as "minor self-harm incidents"
Trying to figure out what's really going behind the secrecy blanket is difficult, especially since "self harm" and "suicide attempt" are sometimes the same thing. The Shire President confirms that one woman jumped from a roof; she had been returned to the island against the advice
of mental health professionals. He states that nine mothers, each of whom have a baby under one year of age and in some cases other children as well, have expressed their intention to take their own lives: "Each of the nine women are saying that they will do away with themselves because they see that the only way that their children can have a future is to be free in Australia and the only way that is possible is they take their own lives." OTOH, lawyers
acting for some of the asylum seekers on Christmas Island state that "We have heard from our clients there that in the last day several women have attempted suicide or harmed themselves. They are in a state of utter despair. They are concerned about the health of their children."
Fourteen women, mostly mothers, are under continuous suicide watch
by male guards. Four months ago pregnant asylum seekers on Christmas Island pleaded with visiting medical experts to have their children adopted
. Babies on the island were suffering from skin infections and weeping sores.
Four families comprising fourteen asylum seekers, including a six-week old Australian-born baby
, have been moved from the Inverbrackie detention centre in Adelaide to Christmas Island. This makes a total of 71 babies on the island.
Although far more adult than child asylum seekers are being held in detention, 23% of children
are being detained while 18% of adults are.
Twelve asylum seekers, including five teenagers, have gone into hiding
after two of their friends were returned to detention. Woodville High School students are campaigning
for the release of the two Vietnamese teenagers.
of a victim of the Manus Island violence continues.
Last word goes to Gosford Anglican Church: