Asylum seekers are being given the choice of being handcuffed on their way to medical appointments or missing out on healthcare, and an Australian rights group is calling for the United Nations to look into it.
On his way to see a doctor, Yasir* says he would be routinely handcuffed while he was in immigration detention. The experience was traumatic for the asylum seeker, who has a history of mental health issues and has now spent nine years in detention.
“I would feel terrible. I would start shaking and sometimes vomit or have seizures and injure myself,” Yasir said in a statement. “I missed many medical appointments because the guards said they won’t take me unless I am handcuffed.”
“The doctors would ask: ‘Why did you refuse to go to the appointment’ and I would say ‘I didn’t refuse the appointment, I refused the handcuffs’.”