Skip to Full Menu

Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Ten More People With Mental Illness Join List Of Improper Immigration Detentions
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
December 8, 2006

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--An Australian government watchdog has found 10 more cases of people with mental illness who were wrongly held by immigration officials between 2000 and 2005, bringing the total to at least 70.

Commonwealth Ombudsman John McMillan revealed Wednesday that most of this group the Immigration Department (DIMA) detained improperly were, in fact, Australian citizens, while others were permanent residents, or temporary visa holders, according to the West Australian news service.

Among them was a man from East Timor, identified only as "Mr. G.", who had come to Australia legally in 1975. Mr. G, who later developed schizophrenia, was picked up by immigration officials in 2002 and held in detention for 43 days -- even though he had a valid visa.

McMillan was called in to review nearly 250 cases of suspected wrongful detention following revelations that officials wrongfully held Cornelia Rau, an Australian citizen who had schizophrenia, for ten months beginning in March 2004.

Rau had walked away from a psychiatric ward in Sydney and was picked up by Aborigines in northern Queensland, over a thousand miles away. Police found no identification on Rau, who gave them a number of false names and answered them only in German.

Immigration officials, believing her to be an illegal immigrant, transferred Rau to Baxter Detention Center to be housed with 255 other inmates. At one point during her stay she was held in seclusion for two months -- against advice of mental health experts there.

The government is expected to pay millions of dollars in compensation to those who were wrongfully detained.

Related:
"Wrongful detention sparks compo claims" (The West Australian)

http://www.thewest.com.au/aapstory.aspx?StoryName=338874
"Officer happy detainee was 'not smart'" (Sydney Morning Herald)
http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/06/red/1208a.htm

---

©2016 The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities
 370 Centennial Office Building  658 Cedar Street   St. Paul, Minnesota 55155 
Phone: 651.296.4018   Toll-free number: 877.348.0505   MN Relay Service: 800.627.3529 OR 711   Fax: 651.297.7200 
Email: admin.dd@state.mn.us   View Privacy Policy   An Equal Opportunity Employer 

The GCDD is funded under the provisions of P.L. 106-402. The federal law also provides funding to the Minnesota Disability Law Center,the state Protection and Advocacy System, and to the Institute on Community Integration, the state University Center for Excellence. The Minnesota network of programs works to increase the IPSII of people with developmental disabilities and families into community life.