Looks like a bill designed to confiscate mobile phones from people in immigration detention is going to be considered this week, and Australia, what the hell?
The law in question would essentially cut asylum seekers and refugees from contact with the outside world, in what feels entirely dystopian because, well, it is.
This change in our laws would allow lizard-in-disguise Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to declare mobile phones, sim cards and other items prohibited, granting extra powers to the Australian Border Force when searching detainees that they really do not need atm.
Just last week, former Socceroo Craig Foster launched a petition against the proposed changes, as the bill returns to the House of Reps this week.
So far 30,000 individuals have signed the petition organised by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC), which calls for the bill to be totally scrapped.
Sadly, there are moves to take mobile phones away from innocent refugees in Aust detention, who’ve wasted away for more than 7yrs. Many are my friends. Their phone, like yours or mine, is their lifeline to support, legal counsel, the outside world. It’s not right #NoPhoneNoLife pic.twitter.com/xGwiEKboRe
— Craig Foster (@Craig_Foster) August 29, 2020
Mobile phones are essential to immigration detainees for recording incidents and reporting conditions of their detainment to the rest of the world. Taking these devices from people is essentially a form of silencing them.
In 2018 the Federal Court ruled that a ban on mobile phones was unlawful as it was not covered by the Migration Act. This at least gives us some hope for those in immigration detention.
Let’s just hope that nothing like this actually passes, because wtf guys.