My name is Ossama Abdalla Wahab. I am an Egyptian citizen and I’ve been a detainee in Australian detention centres for nearly 5 years now. I am seeking for protection. My case has been rejected like so many others. All this time in detention I’ve been mistreated and discriminated.
In 2015 at Christmas Island Det. Centre a detainee(Fazel Chegeni) was beaten to death by the Serco ERT officers. The department of Immigration covered it up as usual and officially declared that it was a suicide case. When detainees started to demand an explanation on Fazels death and they didn’t receive any satisfactory response from Serco – a riot erupted.
21 detainees were taken to jail for participating in the riot . Most of them went to prison for 6-7 months. I was the only one who did 18 months in jail. They considered me to be a ringleader which would have been impossible because I was at the support compound(white 1) and the already rioting detainees broke me out of my cell.
After my jail sentence finished I was taken back to the C.I even though IHMS psychiatrist opposed the idea of taking me back to that traumatic place but they still cuffed my hands and took me to C.I. This is also where I currently reside.
I’ve faced too much mistreatment here in the detention. I wouldn’t know where to start with my story exactly. What follows are some of the major issues that not just me but all of the detainees share here on C.I and all the other detention centres around Australia:
• The biggest problem is the closed secretive nature of Australian detention centres.
Red Cross, Ombudsman and Comcare all have proven themselves to be useless in dealing with the issues in detention centres.
• Detainees are banned to have any recording devices(phones, cameras) and this has created a situation where it is impossible to prove any wrong doing by Serco or the Border Force Department.
• Nightmarishly long visa processing time in the detention centres. Almost everybody in detention have been here at least 6 months most of them over a year, some 5, 6, 7 years.
• Australian detention centres are wasting a huge amount of tax payers money. My case manager told me it costs $1800 per day to accommodate a detainee in this system. During my transport to C.I we had 19 detainees and 65! Serco officers on board. Each of them gets paid $2000 a trip.
• People from high security prisons are put together with visa over stayers.
• All 501’s say detention centres are worse than prisons.
• Most 501’s are here for minor offences and a lot of them do more time here than they did in prison.
• As Mr. Dutton claimed C.I was originally built for terrorists, sex offenders and bikies. None of these people are represented here.
• There are so many 501’s here that have lived all their life in Australia and have many children and family members outside. They are kept hostage in these high security prison camps with their families torn apart until they’ll have serious mental issues.
• The broken families that result from this system create a whole generation of fatherless and motherless children.
• The uninvestigated deaths, rape complaints, suicide attempts and intravascular force feeding in Australian detention centres.
• If a detainee has mental problems he shall be put into the support compound(isolation) where he will be tortured furthermore with the officer following him around 24/7 even constantly watching him while he sleeps.
• Immigration cases are artificially stretched out to as long of a period as possible to create more jobs and profit in this little bubble economy. The profits come only from taxpayers money and at the expense of the mental health and wasted life of detainees.
• Even the lawyers want to keep a detainee a detainee here in Australian Immigration system. I’ve yet to hear of a positive case or a good experience with a lawyer during my 5 year stay in the Australian immigration system.
C.I Detention Centre is in a bad need for a visit from an investigative journalist who would portray the place and listen to the stories that are kept under cover before another riot strikes.
I am writing this letter specifically addressed only to 9 news network (Current Affair). I haven’t published the video of the beating to anyone else because I believe in your news organisation and it is my wish that the video clip attached in the file below would motivate you to reveal more about the problems in Australian detention centres.
I hope to get to be interviewed by one of your journalists or better yet if you could see the potential and the size of this story. It is my biggest wish to see your journalists here on C.I doing an in-depth story of the secretive world of Australian detention centres which by many critics should be considered a crime against humanity.