An account of forced deportation
This is a man’s account of Australasian Correctional Management (ACM) and immigration department (DIMA) staff’s attempt to forcibly deport him from Villawood detention centre.
I’d been informed by the DIMA for the first time on 11 October 1999 I am denied a visa. So I expressed my denial by hitting the desk before the DIMA officer ... To prison for one week [for] frightening the immigration agent ... And from there I’ve been taken to the airport without any previous informing on the 17th October 1999 [and] handcuffed again.
Two policemen took me [and] treated me exactly like an animal. The first policeman drew me by my throat which caused me congestion and difficulties in swallowing and eating for the consequent week. The other drew me by my hand fiercely ... by the handcuff chain, [which] has left [an] obvious scar till now. They’d put me on the airplane which the captain had refused to carry me on after I discussed the matter with him, so they got me back to the prison.
One week later on 24th October 1999 and in the same unexplained procedure another correction officer attended my cell, handcuffed me and asked me to come ... to the reception where [I was] received by ACM officials, including a doctor and a nurse.
Soon the doctor entered the cell carrying an injection with four tablets asking me to choose either the injection or the tablets. I refused them both ... the doctor ordered the security officers to do their job and he and the officers laid me down on the floor and [both sat] on my back, took my pants down [so that the doctor could] inject me. So then I accepted to receive the tablets since I got an old medical problem with injections.
The doctor told me how those tablets are only tranquillisers. But they didn’t work. So they forced me to take a fifth tablet at the airport when they got me on the airplane with a wheelchair accompanied by a nurse, two companions and three other ACM officers. All that continued for about five to six hours with three types of handcuffs and ties of leather, plastic and steel around my hands and belly that gathered my arms to my trunk!
I stood screaming and asking for help from the passengers there. I immediately regretted that [because] those companion escort officers started to hit me and beat me fiercely and cruelly with kicks all over my body, especially my genitalia with their knees and feet which subsequently caused left testis congested lesions and pain. The testis swelling is still evident ...
The nurse on trying to inject in my leg missed my body [and] hit the plane seat where the needle got bent. but he didn’t change the needle and injected me again with the contaminated, bent needle in a completely odd side on my leg, immediately above my left knee where the scar and pigmentation still [can be] clearly seen.
I continued to scream and ask for help until a few passengers cried and [came] to relieve my oppression. But they [were] rejected ... So the officers got me to [Silverwater prison] for the third time where they put me in a special quarantine room for the addicts for five days because I became physically and medically sick.
On the 2nd December 1999 I’ve been moved from the prison to the detention centre again where I am now. Since then I haven’t consulted any medical personnel in detention since losing the trust in any of them who works for this ACM to deal with psychological trauma.
[Five years later, this man remains in Villawood detention centre. He resists any offers of help with his immigration case, which remains static to this day.]
From Green Left Weekly, October 20, 2004. Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.