Australia is planning to build a Guantanamo-like prison on Christmas Island
There are growing concerns that Australia is planning to build a Guantanamo-like prison on Christmas Island, Australian news sources reported today.
The source said that the island, located in the Indian Ocean 2600 km north-west of Perth, Western Australia, is expected to be another “Guantanamo Bay” if a change in Australian Commonwealth immigration policy takes place.
Christmas Island Shire President Gordon Thomson has received information on the Australian Government’s plan to put on the island all refugees who arrive in the country by boat.
"If the Australian Parliament can excise part of Australia from the effect of any law then one could rationally argue that it’s possible to excise Christmas Island from other laws," he said.
Even though it is an Australian Territory, its closest neighbour is Java, 360km away.
The island, 23.7 km long and 7km wide, has a population of only about 1500 people.
The Australian Government is now building a multi-million dollar, detention center on the island, and Mr. Thompson is concerned it will lack proper Government regulation, as it is a remote island.
"Christmas Island is remote, it’s excised from the migration zone," Mr. Thomson said.
Under the current policy, only refugees who reach an area which was excised after the 2001 Tampa incident are detained offshore.
But last February, the Immigration Detention Advisory Group told Mr. Thomson that all boat arrivals will eventually be sent to Christmas Island.
However, the government tried to deny reports on its intention to expand the role of Christmas Island in its immigration detention policy.