The Islands Australia Is Sending Its Refugees From Are Plagued By Scandals

Jacob Bojesson | Foreign Correspondent

The refugees the Obama administration agreed to take from Australia are currently held at camps where abuse, rape and suicide attempts are part of the daily environment.

U.S. President Donald Trump is raging over a refugee deal Barack Obama made with Australia in November. Obama agreed to take 1,250 unwanted refugees who are held indefinitely in offshore detention centers on the islands of Manaus and Nauru. Trump called it “the worst deal ever” in a phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the weekend.  (RELATED: Trump ‘Fumes’ At Australian PM Over Obama Refugee Deal)

Australia announced the closure of the Manaus center in August, but said none of the 854 men held their would be resettled on the main land. The announcement came after harsh criticism from the United Nations over the living conditions on the islands.

Rod St. George, a former guard at the Manaus center, said six men were raped by fellow detainees in the men-only camp. Others were forced to sew their lips together by other inmates. One man reportedly punctured his eardrum after having solvent poured into his ear.

St. George said guards ignored what was going on and allowed attackers and victim to live side by side.

“I’ve never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless and so hopeless,” St. George told The Independent in a 2013 interview. “In Australia, the facility couldn’t even serve as a dog kennel. The owners would be jailed.”

The detention center is located 200 miles north of Papua New Guinea’s mainland. Much of the maintenance is outsourced to local establishments and access is restricted.

Guards at the camps have been accused of systematically abusing, raping and in one case murdering an inmate, according to more than 2,000 leaked incident reports obtained by The Guardian. A majority of the cases involve children getting abused or sexually assaulted by guards or other inmates.

The reality has tuned many inmates to self-harm. Close to 200 incidents were reported at the Nauru camp is just one year, including several suicide attempts.

Australia introduced legislation in October to impose lifetime bans on illegal immigration. Anyone arriving in the country illegally is currently getting detained until further notice. (RELATED: Australia Considering Lifetime Ban On Attempting To Immigrate Illegally)

Troy Newman, a pro-life activist based in Kansas, got a first-hand experience of Australia’s immigration treatment in 2015. Newman was granted a visa to speak at a variety of events. The visa was revoke during his flight on the grounds that he was an extremist for being pro-life and opposing abortions.

Terri Butler, a member of parliament, had sent a letter to Minister of Immigration Peter Dutton where she called for a review on whether Newman’s presence in Australia would “cause significant harm to our society.”

He was arrested upon arrival in Australia and spent three days in solitary confinement.

“It was horrendous,” Newman told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a 2015 interview. “It’s a facility where they keep people that are there illegally. I had no ability to communicate with the outside world, sounds like a jail to me.”

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