Probe Into Rau Detention Leads To Calls For Immigration
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
June 16, 2005
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA--The investigation into the wrongful immigration detention of an Australian woman with schizophrenia will not be completed for at least the next two weeks.
Even so, the inquiry by Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer may have already prompted reforms in how people with mental illness caught in the country's immigration system are to be treated.
Palmer is looking into about 200 cases of improper detention, abuse and bungled proceedings following the news that the Immigration Department held Cornelia Rau for 10 months even though she is an Australian citizen.
Early in the investigation it was learned that Rau was held in solitary confinement, where her privacy was routinely violated, against the expressed recommendations of a mental health professional. The government also failed to provide any of the psychiatric treatment that was recommended.
Learne Durrington, executive director of mental health services for the state of South Australia, told Australia Broadcasting Corporation that the probe would likely lead to plans for a new community-based facility to provide mental health treatment for nine Baxter Detention Center detainees currently being held in Glenside Psychiatric Hospital.
A former senior immigration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told ABC TV that the department is covering up the problems and rewarding officials for being tough on detainees.
"Palmer delays handover of Rau report" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"Palmer report to add impetus to mental health changes" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"Vanstone reiterates faith in Palmer inquiry" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"Vanstone urges whistleblower to come forward" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
"Wrongful detention cover-up alleged" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)