Harrowing stories of Australia’s detainees

In November Jamal expressed serious concerns to the detention centre staff. Minutes from a daily meeting at the centre said: “[Redacted] reported Iranian men (Oscar 4) had sexual intentions towards him. He stated there is a lot of talk within the compound about sexual activity. He stated he overheard them saying, ‘You are on our list.’ He stated at no time has there been any touching.”

In Australia a threat of a gang rape – particularly by such a young person – would routinely warrant scrutiny and attract the attention of police. For those working with children, there would often also be a statutory obligation on them to report the issue to a child protection authority.

In immigration detention centres the rules are different. No police report was filed initially. The Salvation Army said Jamal would be moved to another part of the compound. International health and medical services (IHMS) planned to see him the next day, but added he did not have any signs of physical abuse.