ga('send', 'pageview');
John Passant

Site menu:

November 2013



RSS Oz House



Subscribe to us

Get new blog posts delivered to your inbox.


Site search


My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Refugee detention centres: Australia’s concentration camps

Nauru in 2011. New reports tell of worsening conditions.

Concentration camp – noun 1. a place in which large numbers of people, especially political prisoners or members of persecuted minorities, are deliberately imprisoned in a relatively small area with inadequate facilities.

Immigration minister Scott Morrison has attempted to erect a wall of silence around the government’s treatment of refugees writes Ben Hillier in Red Flag. But the awful truth is the government’s worst kept secret: the Manus Island and Nauru concentration camps are hellholes.

As of 15 November, 1,786 people are imprisoned on the two islands. Workers at the facilities have shed new light on the conditions these detainees endure.

One Nauru case worker, speaking anonymously in November to Fairfax journalist Julie-Anne Davies, described the camp:

“[T]here’s not enough space for the kids to run around in; we can’t take them to the park, the beach, nowhere … Families of five live in one little area of a large marquee divided only by clear tarpaulins so there is no privacy. Husbands and wives can’t have sex, can’t do anything without everyone knowing their business.”

In the men’s camp, she related, “There are three or four toilets for [350] men and they just couldn’t manage. They were soiling themselves and then having to wait in line for hours to have a two minute shower. It was really, really shocking.”

Another worker from the male-only Manus Island camp said, “As time goes by the men are getting more desperate and more sick. They all complain about kidney pain, headache, insomnia, but it takes at least three weeks for a doctor to see a client.”

The abuses of human dignity are so bad in Australia’s offshore concentration camps that one senior executive of a charity contracted to provide services confided, “I wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, worried that one day we may have to face a royal commission and have to answer for the conditions under which these people were treated and which we didn’t have the guts to challenge the government on.”

Amid repeated reports and warnings about the health of detainees, Morrison has shown nothing but disregard: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter if you’re an unaccompanied minor, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a health condition”, he said on 15 November during his weekly “Sovereign Borders” media briefing.

“If you are fit enough to get on a boat, then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.”

The testimony of those who know the truth, and the responses of the man charged with defending gross human rights violations, are the just the latest indictments of Australia’s detention regime.

In mid-November pregnant detainee Latifa, a 31-year-old Rohingya woman, was flown to Brisbane from Nauru to give birth. She was separated from her baby Farus and placed in a Brisbane detention centre four days later, with her visitation rights limited to six hours per day.

Reflecting from Colombo, Sri Lanka, on how and why a new mother could be treated in such a way, Abbott said: “[B]ecause people have come to Australia illegally by boat … I don’t, as it were, apologise for what happens when people come to Australia illegally by boat.”

The prime minister’s comment came as the Global Mail reported that a “profoundly disabled” four-year-old Tamil girl is to be deported, along with her father, to Nauru. The report, if true, is beyond words. She may yet be considered lucky by some, however.

In an unprecedented and shocking development, the Liberals on 17 November signed an agreement with the Sri Lankan government to provide it with two patrol boats to intercept asylum seekers fleeing the country.

The Australian government is in effect providing aid to the Rajapaksa regime to continue its genocide against the Tamil population and to prevent people fleeing the terror.

The record of this government, scarcely two months old, is already beyond criminal.

– See more at:



Pingback from Refugee detention centres: Australia’s concentration camps | OzHouse
Time November 19, 2013 at 7:11 pm

[…] Nov 19 2013 by admin […]

Comment from Kay
Time November 20, 2013 at 7:20 am

You guys must be very grateful to Australian voters for giving us an Abbott government. Now you can all go full throttle with your hate diatribes for the next 3 years at least! Please say ‘thank you’ to the average voter for giving you this golden opportunity.

I think the average Australian is more focused on seeing the boats reducing in number than in any housing arrangements for those asylum seekers who make it through to Christmas Island. “If you are fit enough to get on a boat, then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.” (Scott Morrison) Sounds fairly logical to me.

Just back from Greece and Italy. All is serene over there, especially in Greece. Have you seen ‘the cafe society’ in Athens? No revolution happening there! Short retail trading hours, long relaxed lunches with plenty of alcohol and very limited restraints on smoking! At least they seem busy and working hard in Italy! More like Australia.

Got into a conversation in Rome airport with some Iraqi travelers. They were traveling back to Basra. According to them, Basra is completely safe, as is most of Iraq. They just advised – be careful in Bagdad. So why are so many still ‘fleeing’ here? Maybe for better economic opportunities. Maybe to escape the secular (Sunni vs Shia) violence that is crippling the Middle East. That has been ongoing, but getting worse, for centuries! Unfortunately these countries seem to need ‘strong’ dictators like Saddam Hussein, Assad, Mubarak etc to keep the violence under control – a very sad state of affairs!

Comment from John
Time November 20, 2013 at 10:58 am

We made the same criticisms of Labor. But I love the role reversal – we didn’t setup the concentration camps, we don’t manufacture lies abut asylume seekers, we don’t demonise them or de-humanise them but you come on her and describe what we say as hate diatribes.You are the perfect candidate for seduction from fascists. I could imagine you cheering on the rounding up of German socialists and trade unionists in 1933. Get rid of the haters might have been your mantra.

Comment from John
Time November 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

All is peaceful in Greece? Ha. Did you see the raid on the occupied TV station? The strikes? Italy? I suggest you read the Pope’s speech on Lampedusa where he talks specifically about defending refugees. Recently he has talked about turning disused churches and other church property into housing for refugees.

Comment from philip
Time November 20, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Quote “Recently he has talked about turning disused churches and other church property into housing for refugees.”
Talk is cheap any money bet says he (the pope) will not do it and furthermore he will do nothing that would deplete the monetary coffers of the Vatican.

Comment from John
Time November 20, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Actually Kay, here is the full comment by Morrison. ‘It doesn’t matter how much education you’ve had, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve come from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, anywhere else, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a child, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter whether you’re an unaccompanied minor, it doesn’t matter if you have a health condition, if you’re fit enough to get on a boat then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.’ Sending kids, pregnant women, the disabled to offshore concentration camps. This is what we have become.

Write a comment