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Thread: General/Opinion

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Woman held for ten months in Immigration Fiasco


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Date: Sat, 05 Feb 2005 13:24:53 +1100

The story of a woman detained in an Immigration Detention centre has broken this morning. I read the article in this morning's "Age", with increasing amazement ...

Apparently Cornelia Rau absconded from the psychiatric unit of Manly Hospital, where she was undergoing treatment. And after being questioned by police for unusual or "suspicious" behaviour was handed over to Immigration Authorities and held in Baxter Detention Centre.

She has since been placed back in psychiatric care.

If last century someone had told me that an Australian citizen could be held for ten months without due process in her own country, I would not have believed it ...

Later on the radio, I heard that the minister for Immigration had defended her department's handling of the case:

Ms Vanstone says that Ms Rau received medical care during her detention, including psychiatric evaluations that showed she was not suffering a mental illness.

Umm, minister ... let's just note down the facts in this case:

  1. A woman is diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia and treated in a psychiatric unit.
  2. She absconds from the psychiatric care and is eventually locked up with no due process.
  3. But (according to the minister) she nevertheless receives "medical care", including evaluation for psychiatric illness. And according to these evaluations is not suffering any mental illness. (my emphasis).
  4. After her sister springs her from the Baxter Concentration camp she is placed back into psychiatric care.

Sorry, but something does not compute here ... Can anyone else spot the obvious error in the above sequential statements?

If the mainstream media is as gutless as usual, I suppose this story will just fade away ... but it shouldn't


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