Asylum Seekers welcomed with jail
Fri Jan. 8th 2021
No crime, no charge - the asylum seekers welcomed to NZ with jailtime
A few days into his stay in Mt Eden Prison, another inmate smashed Robert in the head with a payphone, bursting his eardrum.
In his 14 months in jail, Robert (we can’t use his real name) says he was repeatedly assaulted, suffered suicidal thoughts, was strip searched, spent six days in an isolation cell and was denied phone calls to his dying father. He says it has caused him long-term depression.
Robert was never charged or convicted of a criminal offence. He had simply arrived in New Zealand and applied for asylum, saying he was at risk of being killed in his home country.
Each year, New Zealand locks up about 15 people who have either claimed refugee status at the border or after overstaying a legitimate visa. The process is also used to hold criminal deportees awaiting a flight home.
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