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Asylum seekers threatened with stun-guns -

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LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: A group of Asylum seekers in the Indonesian detention centre at Tanjung
Pinang are on hunger strike, protesting about conditions in the facility.

Detainees have told Lateline that local immigration officials have used a stun gun on asylum
seekers and have threatened to kill them.

The Australian Government has spent millions of dollars refurbishing detention centres and training
staff in Indonesia.

Refugee advocates say this funding should come with conditions about human rights, but the
Government won't make public any agreement it may have with Indonesia.

Steve Cannane reports.

STEVE CANNANE, REPORTER: Last year this immigration detention centre in Tanjung Pinang, on Bintan
Island south-east of Singapore, was refurbished as part of an $8 million project funded by the
Australian Government.

But despite the injection of money detainees say conditions are now getting worse.

Refugee advocates claim some cells house 40 to 50 people and there are allegations of human rights

PAMELA CURR, ASYLUM SEEKER RESOURCE CENTRE: I am hearing from people who have recently departed
Tanjang Pinang that they are using electric weapons. These are described to me as an electric stick
and an electric torch. I believe that they are tasers and stun guns.

STEVE CANNANE: A current detainee, who's requested anonymity, has told Lateline that stun guns have
been used at Tanjung Pinang.

DETAINEE, TANJUNG PINANG DETENTION CENTRE: If I ask to see doctor or UNHCR they say they will use
this. They threaten us. They come to the door and show us the weapons and say we will kill you, we
will kill you.

STEVE CANNANE: And Atiqullah Mairi, an Afghan asylum seeker who was recently in Tanjung Pinang,
says he experienced the device first hand.

ATIQULLAH MAIRI, AFGHANI ASYLUM SEEKER: More than fifteen times they gave me an electronic shock.
They would do it like a gun, a small gun with an electronic shock yeah.

STEVE CANNANE: Atiqullah Mairi has now been repatriated to Afghanistan.

PAMELA CURR: He had a refugee card. He was recognised as a refugee, but he said he couldn't stay in
a place where he would die slowly, so he agreed to go back. It seems that the conditions that are
being imposed on people are in order to force them to sign to go back voluntarily, because under an
agreement IOM will not remove people by force.

STEVE CANNANE: Pamela Curr says things have got a lot tougher in Indonesian detention centres
because of pressure from the Australian government. She says people classified as refugees by the
UNHCR are no longer being automatically released from detention.

PAMELA CURR: Once UNHCR had assessed the person as being a refugee and issued them with a card and
notified the Indonesian Immigrazi they were released.

That has changed, what is happening now is people who are assessed as being refugees under
international law remain in the detention prisons.

STEVE CANNANE: Immigration Minister Chris Evans was travelling and unavailable to speak to

A spokesman for the Minister said the Indonesian government is responsible for the operation of
Indonesian detention centres.

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has been pushing the Government to release information about the
agreement Australia has with Indonesia over its detention centres.

SARAH HANSON-YOUNG, GREENS SENATOR: The Government has failed to even confirm whether those types
of human rights standards are part of any agreements. They refuse to put the agreement on the
public record. I've asked for it numerous times.

It makes you wonder whether a) whether an agreement exists or b) what the content of that agreement
really is.

STEVE CANNANE: Senator Hanson-Young also has concerns about how children and familes are being
treated at Tanjung Pinang.

SARAH HANSON-YOUNG: Out of the 15 children that are detained there currently, they are with their
mothers but not with their fathers. Unlike other detention facilities around Indonesia, that are
run by the Indonesian Government, paid for by the Indonesia government, often families are, of
course, housed together. But in Tanjung Pinang the fathers are separated.

STEVE CANNANE: Lateline has been told by a detainee inside Tanjung Pinang that there are nearly 70
people on a hunger strike at the moment. They want UNHCR officials to visit the centre as soon as

Steve Cannane, Lateline.