Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Detention causes severe psychological damage

Psychiatrist seeks check on detainees - Immigration - www.theage.com.au

A study has found that immigrants locked in immigration detention are twice as likely to suffer symptoms of mental illness including severe anxiety, depression and a risk of suicide. This follows the detention of an Australian mistaken to be an illegal immigrant. She had suffered schizophrenia before hand and her 10 month detention aggravated her illness, especially since she was locked in isolation for 18 hours a day. Refugee Advocates are calling for a full, independent and public inquiry into mental illness in Immigration detention. I think it is appalling that the treatment of Cornelia Rau had changed so dramatically between when she was thought to be an illegal immigrant and when she was discovered to be Australian.