Call for UN torture watchdog to investigate Australia’s handcuffing of asylum seekers en route to medical care

The United Nations’ torture prevention watchdog has been urged to investigate Australia’s use of handcuffs on asylum seekers when seeking medical care – a practice advocates condemn as inhumane and unlawful.

In 2020, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) launched a landmark test case in the federal court alleging the practice of handcuffing immigration detainees for medical transfers was unlawful and traumatic, particularly for those with histories of torture and abuse.

Now, PIAC has requested the UN’s subcommittee on the prevention of torture investigate the practice during its visit to Australia next month. The subcommittee is expected to scrutinise Australia’s immigration detention network.

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