Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist
Guardian Australia exclusive: Doctor responsible for mental health of people in detention becomes the most senior figure to condemn system from within, saying immigration department deliberately harms vulnerable detainees in a process akin to torture
The chief psychiatrist responsible for the care of asylum seekers in detention for the past three years has accused the immigration department of deliberately inflicting harm on vulnerable people, harm that cannot be remedied by medical care. …
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“People didn’t really take Rudd seriously,” Young recalls. “But everybody was saying when the Libs get in it’s really going to get tough. So there was a building up of expectation that things were going to get worse, which made it worse in itself.”
When the change came in late 2013, there was no radical shift in policy. “Everything just got harsher.”
Relations between the department and its independent health advisers were already rocky. Dehag had been set up in 2006 at a time of acute embarrassment after it was discovered that a schizophrenic Australian resident, Cornelia Rau, was being held in the detention.
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