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Tony Abbott: the human face of evil

By Jennifer Wilson

More than forty current and former workers at Australia’s detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island are challenging Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton to prosecute them under the new secrecy laws for speaking out over human rights abuses.

What, exactly, is the government going to do to these forty professionals, and others who will no doubt join them? Arrest them all? Charge them?

While the very notion of threatening professional workers who speak out about human rights abuses in their workplace with prosecution is, in any western democracy, a travesty that is beyond comprehension, what’s even worse is that we are governed by individuals of such gargantuan stupidity they believe this is reasonable action to take in the first place, with an opposition that colludes, and apparently a demographic that supports this intimidatory silencing.

The government is on a hiding to nothing with these threats of prosecution. The legislation may well work as a deterrent, silencing those who might otherwise speak out, and that is likely its core purpose. However, the government now faces a direct challenge to its new laws, and the world will be watching what it does next.

No such laws have ever existed in our country before today, and I can’t think of any other comparable country in which they exist. What other liberal democratic government threatens professionals with imprisonment if they speak out about human rights abuses, including the sexual abuse of children, violence against women, and ill-treatment of people who are not criminals, not terrorists, and are in a situation of absolute helplessness and vulnerability.

They arrived seeking asylum in Australia by boat, a perfectly legal enterprise, and as we are still signatories to the Refugee Convention, though god knows why, we invited them to seek asylum here in the first place, using any means of transport they chose.

Now we have taken away the very last right they had – the right to a voice, albeit via a third-party, by threatening those third parties with prosecution if they bear witness. Yes. If you bear witness to the atrocities permitted by the Abbott government to be visited upon innocent people, you risk imprisonment. This is what we’ve come to.

This legislation has not been passed to protect Australian citizens. It has been passed to protect politicians. It will allow them to do what they like when they like to waterborne asylum seekers, without any accountability at all. This government and the opposition, who couldn’t oppose a wet lettuce, will permit all kinds of torments to be visited upon women, children and men in offshore detention, and they will prosecute and imprison anyone who reveals their secret savagery.

I’m not much given to use of the word evil. But evil has a human face and the human face of evil today is Tony Abbott. What the ALP has done is supporting this vile legislation is perhaps even more evil: they had the opportunity to resist it. Yet they did not, they endorsed it without as much as a murmur of dissent.

This is a government dedicated to secrecy, silencing, authoritarianism and the sowing of discord and disharmony, supported every step of the way by a spineless opposition. I have no idea where this will end, but every time I think it can’t get any worse, it does.

This article first appeared on Jennifer’s blog No Place For Sheep.

 

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54 comments

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  1. Lee

    Totally agree with you Jennifer. Both of the major parties are comprised of disgusting, poor excuses for human beings. Professional health care workers have a duty to protect their patients and they take that duty very seriously. The asylum seekers won’t be the only ones enduring psychological harm here.

  2. Damian Lund

    As my brother has said:

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    A role for which Bill Shorten is eminently qualified.”

  3. lawrencewinder

    A good article. What a sad country we have become.

  4. Kaye Lee

    The Liberal Party policy going into the election said

    “•We will boost rigorous offshore processing for illegal arrivals so that bad behaviour has consequences.”

    Those naughty asylum seekers have been sent to time-out and no-one is to pay any attention to their antics.

    Meanwhile, those 72,162 persons who lodged an application for the 11,000 places allocated to the offshore component of our Humanitarian Program didn’t fare so well with the grant rate (Refugee and SHP combined) decreasing from 47.6 per cent in 2012–13 to 19.9 per cent in 2013-14.

  5. eli nes

    we have a government devoted to the winning formula of lies and the ability to obfuscate and wedge the opposition.
    The Australian population is too rich and selfish to care, we have become inured to the antics of the amoral idiot and we love his witless lies and slogans.
    Labor’s hope of survival depends on enough catholics staying to keep them in front of the greens who have sensibly done a shorten, dumped the woman and appointed a, surprise, surprise man of the religion with the belief that god created women, strategically adding an impediment, rendering them unable to being the equal of men.
    As for asylum seekers, they worship the wrong god. QED

  6. FreeThinker

    Absolutely, Jennifer ! Thank you for this article.

    It was Phillip Ruddock, a formerly quietly spoken lawyer, come Immigration Minister, who over a dozen years ago was overseeing and justifying dreadful practices in our on-shore detention centres at the time, and doing so with a cold legalistic rationality, which enabled me to better appreciate the ‘ banality of evil ‘ in another country at a different time, that evocative phrase coined by Hannah Arendt in her description of Adolph Eichmann.

    That was a dozen years ago. Since the Howard-Ruddock-Vanstone era, the asylum seeker hysteria / national paranoia and the citizen polarisation cultivated by the two major parties across Australia since then, has really just become worse. The LNP’s recent secrecy laws and its threats to humane Australians, reflect a dialectic between Australia’s appalling de-humanising practices and the continuing fraying of our national ethical stance and our social fabric. And this process has quickened in the last two years.

    Abbott has now become the human face of our Australian evil in his treatment, non-recognition, or non-advocacy of our most vulnerable citizens, and, those even more vulnerable than Australians, our refugee detainees. But for me, Abbott is undoubtedly the most banal of our Prime Ministers in the last 50 years. His three word slogans, his ‘ Nope, nope nope ‘ or his ” Stop the boats ” statements provide, to use his phrase, ‘ crystal clear ‘ evidence of this. His capacity for empathy for others is well outside the statistical bounds of psychological normality. Abbott’s sledging destructiveness, he regards as a skill of personal achievement. His achievement in the last 5 years has been to move from a status as ‘ the black prince’ to become a king who fosters evil and divisive outcomes in his community. Yes, the banal human face of evil, suits him.

    In the short term, we only have Bill Shorten, as an alternative Prime Minister in a mere 14 months time. Unfortunately, the pragmatic Shorten comes across sometimes as junior prefect to Abbott. But, he needs to be cultivated, and he needs to be pressured by ordinary citizens on human rights issues. He is a much more rounded human being than is Abbott, which sounds like I am showering him with faint praise, but comparatively, that is no great achievement . And,Shorten needs to be shocked into action to find his political mojo.

    The ALP have their national conference this month. Let us begin tomorrow.

  7. Matters Not

    but every time I think it can’t get any worse, it does

    .

    Can only agree. (A great article, by the way.)

    While Abbott’s government is behind in the polls by a statistically significant margin of about 4% in two party preferred terms, I can’t understand how 48% (approximately) of the electorate aren’t absolutely aghast at what Abbott has on the table.

    Dumb!

    Morgan: 53.5-46.5 to Labor

  8. Kaye Lee

    Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 No 157

    The objects of this Act are to provide:

    (a) that children and young persons receive such care and protection as is necessary for their safety, welfare and well-being, having regard to the capacity of their parents or other persons responsible for them, and

    (a1) recognition that the primary means of providing for the safety, welfare and well-being of children and young persons is by providing them with long-term, safe, nurturing, stable and secure environments through permanent placement in accordance with the permanent placement principles, and

    (b) that all institutions, services and facilities responsible for the care and protection of children and young persons provide an environment for them that is free of violence and exploitation and provide services that foster their health, developmental needs, spirituality, self-respect and dignity, and

    (c) that appropriate assistance is rendered to parents and other persons responsible for children and young persons in the performance of their child-rearing responsibilities in order to promote a safe and nurturing environment.

  9. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I’m going to the Labor National Conference. Stand up and speak out, I say. Let Labor see the face of the disappointed so that they might be enlivened into wanting to fight for what is right for the Australian public and the common good.

  10. stephentardrew

    Spot on Jennifer. See you later democracy, rule of law and welcome to totalitarianism.

  11. kerri

    I have no idea where this will end, but every time I think it can’t get any worse, it does.
    My husband has been overseas in latin America for over 4 months now, and I am wondering how to explain what has happened in this country when he gets back? It’s like a nightmare.

  12. Annie B

    @ Jennifer Wilson ……..

    An excellent article … and so well expressed. …. Good on you and thank you, for putting into words what so many have thought – and are thinking.

    …………

    @ corvus boreus –

    Dr. Richard Di Natale, might just have a point – ( as shown in the SMH article of over a year ago ) …. reciting the Lord’s Prayer in a house of dubious reputation ( ?? ) does not most likely, sit well with the Christians in our community. … I am agnostic, but it doesn’t sit too well with me either !! … It’s an insult to the common prayer, known, remembered and recited by so many.

    In that linked article, Mark Dreyfus ( of Jewish faith ) pointed to ” the US model where the House and Senate’s opening prayers can be lead by guest chaplains of many faiths.” ….

    Don’t often side with the Yanks on anything, but this IS a good idea – and would reflect the diverse and varied population of our country, in regards to their preferred ( or not ) faiths. ( most likely wouldn’t sit well with the majority of Catholics who have bums on seats in Parliament !! ).

    @ stephen ….

    Don’t much like what you said —- but I fear you are correct. …. goodbye to democracy, welcome totalitarianism. …. the Australian public must turn this around somehow.

    I hope, trust and believe we will. …. If however, we don’t manage that – we are stuffed.

  13. Mat

    That almost half my fellow citizens agree with these policies is overwhelming. I know people are stupid but the lack of compassion and empathy so many of them show is almost too much to bare.

  14. Terry2

    Sloppy legislation prepared by a sloppy Immigration Minister who had already demonstrated his incompetence in his disastrous term as Health Minister.

    Legislation rushed through the parliament with the threat to the Labor Party, support it or we’ll wedge you on being weak on national security.

    What a shambles.

  15. dwejevans

    corvus boreus;……………..Who is Robert Di Natale?…….Do please try to check your facts before posting

  16. corvus boreus

    dwejevans,
    I acknowledge that, at 10:41 last night, I Robert-ed a Richard.
    I blame the Greglivet…I mean Glenlivet.
    Ps, This does not mean that I bobbed a dick.

  17. babyjewels10

    Thank you for pointing out so succinctly exactly what our sad situation is about in this country. With both major parties devoid of ethics and morals, I feel like we’re screwed.

  18. stuff me

    We all know our current govt is the most corrupt, inept and fascist, if you will, in the history of our great country. Labor has to step up. Greens are not an alternative.

  19. Mark Needham

    Where can I find these accounts of “Illegal treatment and mistreatment, human rights abuses”.?
    I must be living in a cocoon lately, as I am missing “stuff”…!
    Directions, please!

  20. freddo

    Excellent article, Ms Wilson.

    @ stuff me:
    And why exactly not? The Greens are the only hope we have in the present circumstances.

  21. mars08

    FreeThinker mentions Hannah Arendt … the woman who invented the phrase “banality of evil” while observing the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann.

    Arendt found that Eichmann was not the snarling, slobbering, ranting beast she expected to see. Without doubt he was a determined Nazi, a Jew hater, a cruel and evil man. But… importantly, he was also an efficient bureaucrat and a functionary. He appeared to be a nondescript individual… as well as being a mass murderer. Eichmann didn’t spend his days in a cave madly cackling about the evil scheme he administered. Arendt coined the term “banality of evil” to describe Eichmann and his kind. The kind who draws satisfaction from their participation in genocide, takes pride in doing a worthwhile job… while appearing to live a refined, urbane, respectable life.

    Arendt’s wasn’t trying to excuses or trivialise the horrors of the Nazi regime. In fact, she made it more horrifying. She leads us to consider that the Final Solution wasn’t some unique, localised and insane moment of history created by monstrous madmen. Instead she suggests… given similar conditions and fanatical leadership… it is a darkness we are all capable of embracing.

    In our popular culture evil villains are almost always depicted as cackling, bloodthirsty, short-tempered, cartoonish, moustache twirling madmen… quite often non-Anglo. The stereotype villan is never shown as an uninteresting, ordinary person who embraces the principles of a harmful and inhumane ideology without question… a deteched individual who convinces themselves (and others) that they are the chosen vanguard of something great and essential.

    That’s the unpleasant truth… Most of our fellow citizens will ignore any evil that doesn’t fit the stereotype.

  22. donwreford

    The word secrecy and the Liberal policy of transparency, Amanda Vanstone, having assisted a major known criminal of the Mafia organization who having links with the vegetable and fruit Melbourne market, more important the trafficking of millions of dollars of heroin.
    The Liberal Government now committed to heads rolling? of the ABC, CEOs a reminiscent of terrorist activity of heads rolling in the Middle East? now requiring answers on the criminal and terrorist sympathizer? on ABC, 4 Corners TV, and the audience attending this program being unsafe to have such a individual as a voice speaking on this program, although he having done time and not charged with terrorism or any charge relating to this activity, also having not killed any one as far as I know, we now return to the Mafia criminal who is alleged to have been involved with murder and Vanstone having secured his entry into Australia? he having paid money to the Liberal party.
    We note the two individuals executed in Indonesia after being imprisoned in this country for over 10 years, for being mules trafficking heroin into Indonesia whom the Australian police informed the authorities these individuals were transporting heroin, these were not hardened criminals and were innocent in terms of having no idea of the consequences of their action as in contrast to the Mafia criminal I refer to?
    As the Liberal government is so concerned with my safety and Australian’s safety, is this government to be trusted? as being and collaborating with some of the most dangerous criminals in the world?
    It is open to speculation the government is using the Mafia to traffic heroin for the Australian market to assist in paying debts such as excessive payments of refurbished offices of politicians whom invariable found these offices were refurbished at excessive cost and invariable did not agree was a good use of public taxpayers money.

  23. rossleighbrisbane

    I suspect that the motive for the legislation is to intimidate, rather than to prosecute. Once a whistleblower has made something atrocious public, it would be politically difficult to prosecute. It’d be like Rolf Harris asking the BBC to sack someone who appeared as a witness at his trial.

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    @rossleighbrisbane

    I take heart at your interpretation of the limits to the legislation. I agree it would be very difficult for the government or other authority to maintain the moral high ground when gross and/or unethical revelations have been made.

    We need to encourage whistleblowers by our overt support for what is right and for the common good of our wide community. That’s why I’m impressed with the whistleblowers of Save Our Children amongst many others.

  25. Lee

    Why would it be more difficult to prosecute an asylum seeker case than abuse within, say, a mainland hospital? Whistleblowers are still allowed in other areas of society, unless it involves the PM’s family.

  26. David

    Excellent work Jennifer, have reposted on my Twitter timeline, suggest everyone with social media accounts do same. This needs huge coverage to do the job Murdochs filth refuses to do. We can keep the nation informed and stuff News Corp

  27. David Stakes

    Long road back for the Labor party to win back its once faithful supporters,who are leaving in droves. Mainly to the greens. Assuring a 2nd term Abbott Gov and ll the horrors it will unleash upon the unsuspecting public.

  28. David

    Mark NeedhamJuly 2, 2015 at 8:41 am…welcome back to planet earth. Your PC has a search engine I presume, if you use it and search I am sure you will find enough to keep you occupied all day. Also the Fairfax media and The Guardian Australian version have covered the topic as of yesterday.
    The Lord of every faith and non, helps those who help themselves.
    Cheers

  29. mars08

    Some good comments here… from concerned Australians.

    Unfortunately things are unlikely to change.

    The ALP shows no inclination to challenge this government’s excesses…. and any revelations by whistle-blowers are invariably ignored or dismissed by the vast majority of voters. The bulk of the general public has not been sufficiently outraged by this government’s actions and policies since coming to power. I can’t imagine they will start now…

  30. paul walter

    People need to understand the extent to which the Mad Monk and the rest have used asylum seekers as a pretext for constructing a framework of laws that could be used not just against a few pitiful refugees, but eventually this entire country.

    They do not understand the nineteen thirties nature of this barbaric kleptocracy.

  31. col gradolf

    We need to neuter the Big Parties by electing progressive independents at the next election. Both of the Big Parties are morally corrupt and nothing more than mouthpieces for their corporate masters.
    Neuter the Parties; Hang the Parliament; Elect Progressive Independents!

  32. Mark Needham

    Thanks for the info, David July 2, 2015 at 11:39 am.
    http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/33587/ Have checked this site. Not much fact. Sounds like my 4 years in the RAN training.
    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/rights-and-freedoms/publications/human-rights-issues-raised-third-country-processing-regime
    this 2nd one one seems to talk about potential. Again no facts.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-16/calls-to-close–nauru-and-manus-island-detention-centres/6396462 Still no facts, just reported, et al.
    http://www.thecitizen.org.au/news/path-whistleblower-their-own-words Even this is subject to generalisations.
    Does anyone have some unbiased, factual information, of “Human Rights Abuses, Illegal Treatment”

  33. mars08

    @Mark Needham…. thanks for your detailed update. I’m sure you’ll inform us when the time comes to start worrying. In the meantime you can rest at ease.

  34. Annie B

    Interesting links here …

    One in particular from paul walter – – July 2, 2015 at 1:20 pm.

    Don’t often look at “The Drum” but this article for them was written by a lawyer, a managing partner of a law firm in Sydney. … It hits nails on heads – and not altogether pleasantly either.

    It is more than possible that an attempt to have history repeated, is being steadily enforced, not so much perhaps by the LNP in its’ entirety, but specifically by the leader of that group. … His dystopian ideologies, could well be dragging us back to some form of ‘medieval’ concept … that being that we are subjects ( or subject ) … to the government – and in particular to the self appointed ‘king’ or ‘top dog’, as he sees himself.

    That we no longer might have the freedom we have enjoyed for so long, and could be under permanent threat of being almost stateless – or ‘thrown out’. …. is an appalling thought – not something I would have thought I could ever consider. … Not here, not in Australia ?

    ………..

    From Kaye Lee — the last link posted, ref. the Saturday Papers’ account of abuse on Nauru.

    In a word – shocking. …

    Closely following that reaction, is the realisation that this government will do absolutely nothing, nil, zilch – about any of it. … Do they care ? – not on your life. …. They bend, twist, avoid and ignore anything that doesn’t make a big plus sign for their dirty political agendas. … That includes ALL of them – plus some members of the ALP as well. … although the problem for them is, if and when matters are raised in Parliament – they are silenced immediately by Beehive ‘Barnet’ Bishop. ( ALP = 400, LNP = 7 … disallowed questions, or removal of MP’s to this date ).

    Absolutely beyond disgusted.

  35. DarylMarshman

    Just on all this talk of the next election, I would bet that this government has a whole group of lawyer types in the back room searching for the type of conditions and reasons that can allow a government to postpone an election. Then see what they can do to create that situation. They are more and more openly abusing their office, it seems to me they feel a security the polls don’t show, are they stupid or cunning? And by the way what roll is Murdoch playing in all this, the power broker, schemer, who likes to play politics. By the time they are gone the damage to this country could be irreparable, just like the sanity of those poor asylum seekers we lock up.

  36. Mark Needham

    All allegations, reports, innuendo,and fabrications, that have been unsubstantiated.
    Are you people really saying, that the culture of Australians, will lead to this.
    Yes there are perverts around, pedophiles and the like.
    That it could happen, is very real. That it has happened is suspect.
    What is the benefit, of not doing something about a problem, why let something, which is happening ‘reportedly All the time” continue. I really believe in Australians, who would do the right thing.
    If, there is truth in the subject, then prosecute the perpetrators. Lock ’em up and throw the keys way.
    “Beyond the Razor wire”, read it yet.
    Truth is being misused here.
    You say it is happening, the abuse, because it is the “Political Agenda” of conservatives., to do and allow such treatment.
    I say “Maybe once or twice”, but not the utter mayhem, that is reported, (again with out proof) that it is.
    Ms Triggs credibility, is down the gurgler, ( with armed guards on Christmas Is, ) talks in hysterical terms, of little kiddies and the like.
    No, I just can not come to terms with the ” Amount and continued abuse, alleged”

    But I am prepared, to listen to fact, truth. I mean, what benefit is there to me, to say otherwise.
    The post above, DM, 6 lines of “I bet”. No facts, just wishfull thinking on his part
    Mark Needham

  37. Lee

    I must be psychic. I accurately predicted Mark’s response.

    Mark, thanks for reminding us that facts and truth can only come from the Liberal Party and Rupert Murdoch.

  38. Möbius Ecko

    The solution is quite simple Mark Needham. If there’s nothing untowards going on and it’s all allegations, inneuendo and fabrications fostered by a high secrecy security lockdown on the subject to the point of being jailed for revealing it, then all they need do is allow an independent delgation undertake a closed investigation into the allegations, inneunendos and fabrications.

    This has been suggested but this lying and deceiving government couldn’t backtrack fast enough from the idea, more or less proving they’re hiding something and allowing the allegations, innueendo and fabrications to go on unabated.

    Let’s not forget that it was Tony Abbot in opposition who demanded that the then Labor goverment make public details of all activities and numbers to do with asylum seekers as a priority, and lambasted anything that was not immediately released to the media on the matter. Seems that security on operational matters has only become important since he won government on the back of lies and deceits.

  39. David

    Mark did you bother to read the letter to the madman abbott, signed by over 30 doctors, lawyers and care givers who have first hand experience working on the spot at the ‘prisons’ on Manus and Nauru? All prepared to be imprisoned for breaking abbotts ‘do not dare comment on anything regarding sexual and physical abuse of Asylum Seekers’ or go to jail for 2 years.
    Or are these including the legislation “All allegations, reports, innuendo,and fabrications, that have been unsubstantiated” Your words..

  40. Lee

    Liberal stooges have readily swallowed the lies that the LNP has perpetuated about Gillian Triggs without even bothering to read her report for themselves. One only needs a quick skim through the first 25% of the report to see that the Liberals are lying. In the report I referenced yesterday, at the beginning of the report the Howard government was praised and the Rudd government was criticised. Who considers Gillian Triggs’ reputation to be in tatters? Rupert Murdoch, the IPA and the Liberal Party. Triggs has been highly critical of the previous Labor government, yet Labor is supporting her, so they obviously don’t consider her reputation to be in tatters. She still has the respect and support of many of her peers, so no tarnished reputation there either. She also has the respect and admiration of many Australians who have voted for her to be chosen Australian of the Year. The only people trashing Gillian Triggs are a self-centred, self-serving, corrupted, greedy bunch of kiddy fiddler protectors and compulsive liars.

  41. Mark Needham

    I am not trying to pick a fight here. Just searching for ‘Truth”

    David, No, I haven’t. I asked for links, so you suggested, I find ’em myself. Thanks for your help, sport. But, I will have a search for it.
    There are a million bits ‘n pieces out there. I thought you may have had a definitive link, to help bypass the crap, ie LNP crap also. Ah well.!

    Lee. July 3, 2015 at 9:52 am
    I must be psychic. I accurately predicted Mark’s response.
    So where is your prediction.?

    I will chase Davids suggestion, I’ll do some more reading.
    Like yourselves, I would like to know, Exactly what is happening, but I am damned if I will accept “Reported by a Guard”, “Told by someone”, “alleged by a reporter”, ““We saw proof of this,” the former officer told me. “We saw text messages the guards had sent the girls. “.
    So where are the facts. I’ll keep searching. Your input is appreciated.
    Mark Needham

  42. Lee

    Mark, as I posted the link I said to my partner that you will reject any information that anyone posts in answer to your question, including reports from an independent statutory authority that reports to the federal parliament via the Attorney-General. You didn’t disappoint.

    Here’s my next prediction. You won’t find the evidence in your rectum either.

  43. Mark Needham


    found the letter.
    Suggest you read it again, David.
    It doesn’t refer to any “particular Act of abuse, or event” except for “presented before the current Royal Commission”

    So, I will sit down, now and read the reports so far.
    Mark Needham

  44. Terry2

    Gillian Triggs’ reputation and stature in our community is and will remain head and shoulders above the puny flim-flam men who are attacking her. They snipe from within the parliament with parliamentary privilege and they know, that as a senior public officer it is neither possible nor appropriate for her to indulge in petty name calling.

    Long after these Liberal – I always find it gives me pause to call these people Liberals – wimps are but remnant skid-marks in the toilet pan of our history, Gillian Triggs will be able to hold her head high and say that she did the job that was allocated to her and did it with skill, intelligence and empathy.

    A good Australian and a wonderful example to young women everywhere.

  45. Kaye Lee

    Mark,

    People legally have to use the word “allegations”. Our government abrogates its responsibility by saying it is up to the Nauruan police to prosecute. Mr Moss found compelling evidence that at least three women have been raped inside the detention centre and raised concern that sexual assault is likely to be under-reported due to a climate of fear and detainees worrying about their future refugee status.

    Many of the complaints by female asylum seekers revolve around Nauruan guards employed by Australian contractors Wilson Security and Transfield Services, with allegations of drunkenness and lechery. Twelve guards have been sacked by those companies for misconduct. A former employee told the senate inquiry that Wilson managers shredded reports that raised “concerns of safety”.

    An incident in which a guard demanded to see a female detainee naked in return for allowing her an extra two minutes in the shower with her young child was confirmed.

    Mr Moss found evidence of “sexual favours being exchanged for marijuana is possibly occurring” based on interviews with detainees.

    A Wilson intelligence report of June 2014, obtained by the review, suggested that “organised prostitution … in relation to trading of contraband” was happening.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/rapes-sexual-assault-drugs-for-favours-in-australias-detention-centre-on-nauru-independent-moss-review-20150320-1m46za.html

  46. David

    Mark I have read the letter and I am perfectly satisfied after witnessing live the complete Senate enquiry into detention and reading both the Moss review and Commissioner Gillian Triggs comments about the review and her evidence to the Senate enquiry, I unlike you do not regard Ms Triggs ‘down the gurgler’, I have greatest admiration for her. Perhaps you, like the physco PM abbott have a problem with women in charge? You give no support for that condemnation of a fine Australian and please don’t take the Tory line, its been totally discredited by countless people and groups of respectable backgrounds and callings.
    Putting not too finer point on it, you verge on trolling.

  47. Michaela

    Pro bono legal support has already been offered to those who choose to speak out in spite of the laws. More power to them.

  48. Storm

    I know this is an old post,but the situation certainly isn’t dead.

    WHAT, exactly, is Abbott so terrified of that he feels the need to bully and threaten professionals with imprisonment in order to shut them up?

    Does he not know the laws of this country?

    Certain professionals and individuals (depending on the State or Territory) are deemed “mandated notifiers”, meaning that those in positions of responsibility over children, must, by law, report any and all forms of abuse against children to, at the very least, police or whichever authority the individual has been advised to report such matters to.

    https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect

    If, as we’ve now learned, kids as young as 5 are attempting suicide in these filthy, barbaric and inhumane detention centres….

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-03-28/father-says-5yo-girl-attempted-suicide-in-fear-of-going-to-nauru/6355566

    and

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-24/asylum-seeker-jumps-off-balcony/6241554

    ….then frankly, my fellow human beings, Abbott makes the likes of Pol Pot and Idi Amin look positively angelic.

    But what does it say for the rest of us, as a nation, that we continue to sit back and huff and puff with indignation and outrage, rather than taking decisive action against such an evil, anti-humanitarian dictatorship?

    Since when did we silence our conscience in favour of waiting for the laws of men to make matters right?

    Lest the question Derryn Hinch always asked us should ever be forgot, “Who’s looking after the children?”

  49. Annie B

    @Storm …

    Wow – what comments there … good onya, and well written.

    Does the abbutt know the laws of this country – I doubt it very strongly. – So that’s a NO.

    Does he know anything about respect, humanitarianism, truth, decency toward people in general, social acceptability, good conduct, the ability to speak without lacing his words with fear, proper transparency, adult maturity, and the way to govern a country correctly ……… a decided NO, NO, NO

    Does he know how to make the most of a photo op, to promote fear, to disparage women ( by action and word ), to waste tax payers money in order to make ‘his’ elevated life-style more efficient, and how to promote war and aggression ….

    A decided Y E S

    But what decisive action can we, as a whole population – take ? …. we are limited to the ballot box on Election Days. … There can be much said and written on sites such as AIM here, of course, and a heap of good ideas put forward, but like all media, it is 90% forgotten a few days later – when a new and more pressing subject is written about. … And like the Murdoch rags, and Fairfax media – in newsprint – it becomes useful only for wrapping up the vegetable peelings.

    At least with on-line independent media, it cannot be used for vegie off-cuts !! … AIM and similar websites, do a superb job in putting forward the hard questions – but it is sadly, not enough.

    On-line petitions, provided they are pointed in the right direction, are somewhat useful. …. But again, the powers that be, tend to ignore them. …. Because they can – – and because they simply, want to.

    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    I saw two ladies interviewed on TV in the past few days – I cannot recall what programme it was on, dammit … they were giving detailed accounts of the appalling conditions on Nauru and Manus – and I thought at the time, that they were taking their lives in their hands in reporting this, as ‘whistle-blowers’ are out of order / favour, and can be prosecuted now – under this vile government. … If anyone can come up with those interviews, please do so …

    Meantime, here is a page from the Australian Government / Child Family Community – about mandatory reporting of child abuse – and the stipulations as applicable to each State.

    https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/publications/mandatory-reporting-child-abuse-and-neglect

    Christmas Island is Australian territory – but the others under scrutiny are listed as ” Australian government immigration detention centres ” … and where the word “Australia ” is coined and used, it denotes responsibility by and from our Government ( no matter who is in power ). SURELY, this Government could be called to account on the basis that there are mandatory reporting situations in the States here – overseen by the Australian Government ( as per the above link ) … and that they should be forced to be accountable for children in those off-shore detention centres, by some means ???

    Perhaps only the IHRC can bring this Government to order – but they too, seem to dragging their heels.

    So – yes – ‘who IS looking after the children’ …. Who, indeed.

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