The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on September 13.
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A detention centre worker has contacted the Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) and indicated that a SERCO security guard was in tears as a result of a directive from the Department of Immigration following a hunger strike and rooftop protest at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) in Darwin.
An Afghan Hazara has been on the roof of South 1 compound for two days and has been on a hunger strike for a number of days before that.
Before getting onto the roof and as a form of protest, he drank a bottle of shampoo to make himself ill.
Since he got onto the roof, SERCO guards have been directed not to provide or offer him food or water on medical advice that he should be able to survive for a couple days on the roof without food or water.
As a result of this directive, the guard was in tears and highly concerned as to the man’s welfare. The man is lying in the Darwin sun without any shelter and was moving very little. He remains on the roof.
DASSAN spokesperson Carl O’Connor said: “The direction by the department that this man not be offered food and water is cruel and could result in serious health problems or worse. SERCO guards are understandably concerned for his welfare and it must be traumatic for them to be told they are not to provide assistance to him.”
Mr O’Connor added: “It is a result of this sort of approach to managing people that we have seen dozens of suicide attempts, self harm incidents and daily protests in the Northern Immigration Detention Centre — Australia’s most dysfunctional and cruel immigration detention centre.”