Immigration detention in Australia becoming "prison-like": Australian Human Rights Commission

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-18 16:26:14|Editor: xuxin
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CANBERRA, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The Australian Human Rights Commission released a report on Tuesday saying it found the country's immigration detention system is becoming "more and more like prison."

The commission reported on risk management in immigration detention system in Australia, including 34 recommendations to reduce the risks of self-harm, harm to others and illegal activity.

It found that Australia is holding people in detention for an average of 500 days, which Human Rights Commissioner Edward Santow said "should not be considered acceptable."

"Australia really is unlike any other liberal democracy in the immigration detention system, it is especially restrictive and especially harsh," Santow told the Guardian Australia.

"Particularly over the last 12-18 months it's certainly the case that a lot of refurbishment have been done that make them more like prisons."

"Australia's system of mandatory immigration detention ... continues to result in people being detained when there is no valid justification for their ongoing detention under international law," the report said.

The recommendations include reducing the restrictions on detainees, providing them with more social and education opportunities and releasing more people into community detention.

The commission expressed concerns about the use of restraints such as handcuffs and the harsh conditions in high-security accommodation.

The report said that in multiple cases medical professionals had to ask for restraints to be removed from detainees before they could be treated.

"There was one example where a (mobile) dental van ... drove into the detention centre itself. It was within the walls or fences, and even then detainees were reporting to us they were still being required to wear handcuffs to see the dentist," it said.