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Monday, 19 August 2002
Page: 4994

Mr Danby asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 28 May 2002:

(1) How many times have Humam Al-Abady's family been split up since they have been in detention.

(2) How many days has Humam been in solitary confinement.

(3) How many times has Humam been confined in a room without a toilet, and for how long.

(4) Were the brother and sister aged six separated from parents and older siblings, if so, for how long.

(5) Did Magistrate Stephen Vose when commenting on these children ask Humam how long will he be guarded by security guards.

(6) Was Humam advised by a doctor at Cumberland Psychiatric Centre that he would not be returned to Villawood; if so, why was he returned.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) An examination of the family's records confirms that individual members have been separated from the family group on seven occasions.

(2) Humam has never been in solitary confinement. There is no solitary confinement in any immigration detention facility.

(3) There were occasions when Humam and his family were kept under observation following suicide threats and self-harm attempts. Detainees under observation are sometimes accommodated in rooms in a separate compound that do not have toilets. Detainees are escorted to toilet facilities as required. Periods of observation vary depending on the circumstances.

(4) The two younger children were separated from their family under the care of ACM in the Port Hedland IRPC when their parents and the elder siblings were remanded in custody on 26 May 2001 for their involvement in a major incident at Port Hedland IRPC on 11 May 2001. They were reunited with their mother at Port Hedland IRPC on 21 June 2001 and with their older siblings at the Villawood IDC on 6 July 2001.

(5) According to the transcript of the proceedings between the Crown and Humam Al-Abbady and Nashwan Al-Abbady there is no mention of Magistrate Stephen Vose asking Humam how long he would be guarded by security guards.

(6) There is nothing in the consulting psychiatrist's report to suggest that advice was given to Humam that he would not return to the Villawood IDC.