Misbehaving Asylum Seekers On Manus Island Kept In Secret Isolation Unit; Australian Asylum-Seeker 'Brain-Dead'

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By Afza Fathima | September 4, 2014 2:40 PM EST

Four main compounds of the Manus Island detention centre, Delta, Foxtrot, Mike and Oscar, appear on the official map but the most notorious compound, called Chauka, doesn't.

Chauka, with the official name Managed Accommodation Area, contains a series of converted shipping containers, with each of them having one single bed and no windows, reported the Sydney Morning Herald. 'Misbehaving' asylum-seekers, who are a part of the Behavioural Modification Program of the detention centre, are housed in Chauka. 

Reuters
Asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran cry as Indonesian officers force them to leave the Australian vessel Hermia docked at Indah Kiat port in Merak, Indonesia's Banten province in this April 9, 2012 file photo.

A few weeks ago, two asylum-seekers housed in Mike compound, hadn't heard of Chauka. In February, Reza Barati was murdered in a night of violence and one of them, an Iranian, was an eyewitness to it. 

The two men voiced their opposition to change the policies involving phone and internet access since it made it almost impossible to talk to their family members in the Middle East. 

The Iranian was then taken to Chauka, was made to sleep on the muddy ground and was given only bread and water for three days. He posted a graphic account of it on Facebook.

In the post, he wrote that they were crying and asking them what their fault was. To that, he said that they replied it was because he always objected to all of their rules. The two men claimed that they were cable-tied to chairs and beaten in such a way that no noticeable bruises could be observed.

Director of Human Rights Advocacy for Humanitarian Research Partners, Benjamin Pynt, took up their case and forwarded complaints to the Australian Federal Police as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. 

Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, dismissed the allegations as baseless and said through a spokesperson that he had been advised to move in accordance with the operational policy of the detention centre as the two men had become abusive and aggressive.

Recently, a refugee activist said that an Iranian man, Hamid Khazaei, had been declared brain dead after septiceamia due to an infection on a cut. Hamid had been in the detention centre and was transferred to the mainland for treatment, but he suffered a heart attack. 

Spokesman Ian Rintoul told BBC that Mr. Khazaei's case is linked to poor hygiene at the centre. He added that the toilets were often blocked and had to be hosed out causing sewage to get on the floor. The raw sewage would also come back if the tide was high.

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(Photo: Reuters / Aulia Pratama)
Asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran cry as Indonesian officers force them to leave the Australian vessel Hermia docked at Indah Kiat port in Merak, Indonesia's Banten province in this April 9, 2012 file photo.
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