Kadem family members in roof-top protest

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Kadem family members in roof-top protest

Media Release
Thursday October 16 2003 11:00am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

The Kadem Iraqi refugee family, who recently unsuccessfully exited Australia to seek shelter in Vietnam, and who upon return were detained again, first in the Perth IDC, and more recently in the Port Hedland detention centre, is in uproar this week.

The father, Abdul Kadem, and his 16-year old son Abdullah, have started a rooftop protest since yesterday on the roof of the Port Hedland Detention Centre.

Abdullah, who has also cut his wrists, told Project SafeCom the protest is over the what he called coerced signing of a 'voluntary deportation agreement' by his 18-year old brother Mohammed, who was flown from Port Hedland to Perth yesterday in preparation for a deportation flight from Perth airport. Abdullah's phone number is available to media contacts, see below.

Abdullah reports that "they [DIMIA] know that there are five reports from hospitals from Melbourne to Perth, saying that my brother is mentally crazy, and they let him sign this document, and now we know it is for deporting him from Australia to Iraq. They do that because they want us as a family to go after him".

Reportedly Mohammed was diagnosed as suffering with early signs of a psychosis. According to refugee advocates he had no symptoms prior to having been in detention.

Not just the father and the 16-year old son are in a protest. Ban Kadem, the mother of the family, spoke to refugee advocate Helen Newman in Melbourne this morning, and she described how her face was all swollen because she had been yelling and crying, hitting herself against the wall in the compound. She also reported that "she had broken the room", how her leg was hurting, and that she had broken windows.

Project SafeCom again is forced to express its disgust, not just with the appalling mental consequences of Australia's inhuman detention policies, but also with the methods employed by DIMIA, Australia's Department of Immigration, where stealth, manipulation and sleight-of-hand is shown, time and again, to be one of DIMIA's main methods of forcing the hand of asylum seekers 'who have the temerity to seek asylum in Australia.

"DIMIA full well knows that signing of a deportation order by someone who suffers from a psychosis, amounts to a serious breach of not just human rights, but of its own medical and public service mandate and charter."

"This department is corrupt to the core, but slowly but surely the Australian public becomes aware of how DIMIA operates. the main instigators, the senior public servants in DIMIA belong in prison, they ought to be prosecuted, and they deserve a prison period for their torture of human beings, what they dish out to asylum seekers in Australia's horrendous Gulags."

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For more information:

Abdullah Kadem
Port Hedland IDC
[phone number posted]

Project SafeCom Inc.
Fremantle WA
Jack H Smit
[phone number posted]

Helen Newman
Refugee advocate, Melbourne
[phone number posted]

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