Thursday, November 16, 2006

Detention camp has it all, but no people

This piece in the SMH caught my attention. After reading this I recommend everyone rush out to see the Road to Guatanomo for a chilling insight into the mindset of regimes prepared to detain people without recourse to the rule of law and basic human rights.

Ben Cubby writes
"THE new immigration detention camp being built on Christmas Island, dubbed "Australia's Guantanamo Bay" by opponents, will have bedroom cameras, electric fences and electronically controlled doors allowing centre-wide lock-downs, plans leaked from the island show.

The level of security and surveillance, greater than at any existing detention centre, makes parts of the complex comparable to a maximum security prison.

But with the numbers arriving by boat plummeting since 2003, critics are asking why the 800-bed centre, which is thought to have cost more than $240 million, is being built at all.

The Government says the high-tech enclosure is a deterrent to smugglers and illegal entrants, and useful for contingencies.

"While the Government's policies have been successful in stemming the flow of unauthorised boat arrivals, the capacity needs to be available should unauthorised arrival numbers start increasing," the Department of Immigration said in a statement.

Asked if an influx was expected, the department said: "People movements are unpredictable."

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