And the inmates of detention centres created outside of Australia to avoid its laws are held in conditions of secrecy that prevent scrutiny of their treatment while laws prevent doctors speaking out about mistreatment.Last year, a United Nations report accused Australia of breaking the Convention Against Torture over its treatment of migrants.The then Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, responded that “Australians are sick of being lectured to by the United Nations”, saying their policies had stopped refugee boats from trying to make the perilous sea journey to Australia and “ended the deaths at sea”.In a paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, the ethicists, Dr John-Paul Sanggaran, of the University of New South Wales, and Professor Deborah Zion, of Victoria University, wrote that there was “increasing evidence that Australia is engaged in torturing asylum seekers”.“There are allegations of situations, circumstances and actions that also constitute cruel and unusual punishment throughout Australian immigration detention,” they wrote.They pointed to allegations by guards at a detention centre on the island of Nauru “of waterboarding, familiar to most as a torture technique that simulates drowning used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in places like Guantanamo bay”.“‘Zipping’ is also alleged. It is described as tying an individual to a metal bed frame with cable ties, the bed is then thrown into the air causing injury to the bound individual when the frame crashes to the ground,” they added.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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