Test case challenges use of handcuffs in transferring asylum seekers to medical care (Yasir’s story)

Introduction by Croakey: A landmark test case is highlighting the excessive use of force in Australian immigration detention centres, according to the Public Interest Advocacy Centre(PIAC).

Yasir*, an asylum seeker with a history of severe torture and childhood abuse, has been unable to access health care when the detention centre staff use handcuffs to transport him offsite to medical appointments.

PIAC is representing Yasir in the case, which is being financially supported by the Grata Fund and John and Mary Walker.

Ms Jane Leibowitz, PIAC’s Asylum Seeker Health Rights Project, said such harmful practices were becoming increasingly common.

“More and more, we are seeing vulnerable, sick and otherwise cooperative detained asylum seekers, subjected to harmful and degrading practices which result in significant delays and disruptions to medical care,” she said in a statement.

“Yasir’s case shows how mistreatment of mentally ill asylum seekers happens on a daily basis. There are humane and effective alternatives to handcuffs and body belts which reflect the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and accountability.”

Here, Yasir tells his story.

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