Dave/Ross on Tue, 4 Jun 2002 14:58:46 +0200 (CEST)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]



   FORCIBLE DEPORTATION RUDDOCK STYLE                                              
     Dave/Ross <ross777au@bigpond.com>                                               

   pay-tel update                                                                  
     Dave/Ross <ross777au@bigpond.com>                                               


Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2002 09:06:34 +1000
From: Dave/Ross <ross777au@bigpond.com>


Nader is being deported on the same boat on which he stowed away to 
escape persecution in Iran. Ruddock has ordered this forcible 

Nader Sayadi and two friends hid in the ceiling of their friend's 
cabin on the ship Iran Mazandaran, for 5 weeks. The ceiling space was 
2 feet high.  They could not sit, only lie . There they ate bread and 
water and used plastic bags for a toilet. They came down only every 5 
/6 days to wash. They became sick but were afraid, and in the end got 
off at Portland Victoria, unable to endure it any longer.  They 
jumped 10 meters onto the wharf, injuring them selves.  Nader 
described this in a court case in Melbourne last week.

Hosein Iran ( a seaman for 25 years) was accused of bringing to 
Australia 3 unauthorised non-citizens who happened to be his cousin 
and 2 childhood friends who were running in fear of their lives 
following the uprising in Abadan (Iran).  Hosein was found guilty of 
3 counts of people smuggling even though the magistrate said that 
there was clearly no financial motive involved and it was done for 
humanitarian reasons. 

Hosein was sentenced to 4 months suspended sentence. Nader broke down 
as he described missing his wife and children and being in detention 
for 20 months. he said  "i saved my life but lost my spirit". Nader's 
name was in the paper (Age, Tuesday 28th May) and face also on TV 
twice.  It means that authorities in Iran probably know who he is and 
where he is.

Despite pleas from advocates in Melbourne Nader was returned to Perth 
IDC. While in Melbourne he had been kept in isolation and not allowed 
contact with his friend whom he had not seen for 12 months.  Nader is 
depressed and suicidal.  He slashed his wrists in April, locking 
himself in the toilet but was discovered and taken to hospital. Since 
then he has been in isolation. In may he attempted to hang himself in 
the razor wire.  He has now been in isolation for the past 7 weeks. 
It has not improved his mental health.

After the court case, Nader asked to be allowed to stay in Melbourne 
to be with his friends . Now we know that DIMIA had other plans.

Yesterday (Sunday) at around 4pm, Nader Sayadi Estahbanati, was taken 
forcibly from his isolation cell and deported.   Another detainee at 
Perth has told how he went to the centre dispensary to get his
medication at about 7pm to find broken windows, shattered glass and 
other signs of a
struggle, and a different nurse on duty.  We believe that Nader was 
taken to the dispensary and drugged.

When other detainees insisted on knowing what had happened to Nader 
they were told he had been put on the ship Iran Mazandaran, which has 
already left port.

The Mazandaran will dock in Esperance at about daybreak Friday.  It 
will then load 30,000 tonnes of wheat before sailing to Iran.  This 
is the same ship that Nader and his companions came to Australia on.

Last year Nader's brother Naser was prevailed upon to return 
'voluntarily' to Iran. He never made it beyond the airport.  Neither 
his family nor anyone else has heard of him since. There can be no 
doubt that the same fate
awaits Nader.

Please pass this message on to everyone you know, and email Phillip 
Ruddock in protest.  This is  about saving the life of a very sick 
man whose only crime was to give out leaflets about a protest in 
Iran, and then attend the protest- something any one of us might do. 
In Iran it is a life threatening activity.

Pamela Curr


Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2002 08:55:42 +1000
From: Dave/Ross <ross777au@bigpond.com>
Subject: pay-tel update

Below is an update on what is happening with regard to the exorbitant 
and monopolistic charges for phone calls from within the Woomera 
detention centre.  Please note that we are talking only about special 
phones which have been installed for use by detainees.  The rest of 
the staff at Woomera use normal (and very cheap) Telstra phones for 
all of their calls.  There appears to be no good reason why detainees 
could not have similar phones.

The ACCC phoned yesterday (Matt Healy), and they finally received a 
report back from Pay-Tel. 

My first question would be why it took almost three weeks for Pay-Tel 
to answer a simple question about how much it costs to use a Pay-Tel 
phonecard in Woomera.

Nevertheless, Pay-Tel is insisting that they are not over-charging 
the detainees, and that it is part of their contract with DIMIA and 
ACM that they provide competitive prices.  They are saying that the 
charge for a one-minute phone call to Iran or Iraq is $1.17.  They 
also say that there are no connection charges, and that calls are 
charged in increments of ten seconds.  This charge of $1.17 per 
minute is just over HALF of what the detainees are saying that it 
costs them to phone Iran.  They say that a $22 card gives them (or is 
supposed to give them?) ten minutes of phone time to Iran.  Some 
report that cards do not even give them that much time.  Cards run 
out in as little as seven minutes.

We are making arrangements to have detainees test the system by 
timing a call and passing all of that information on to the ACCC. 
This could take a few days, because we need to get funds through to 
pay for a $22 card to be used for the experiment, and then we have to 
get the report back on how it goes. 

It may well be that the delay in Pay-Tel's response to the ACCC was 
because they needed that time to make changes to the phones at 
Woomera.  Changes inside the special Pay-Tel phones can alter the 
charges deducted from their cards.  If alterations have been made and 
if they are permanent, then it will not matter that much to us that 
they have escaped accountability for what they were charging 
previously.  (There seems to be very little accountability for 
anything that happens at Woomera!)  At least the necessary changes 
will have been made.  But first we want to establish whether the 
changes have been made.

However, the bigger problem has to do with the charge for LOCAL 
calls.  If a detainee wishes to speak to a lawyer at the Legal 
Outpost in Woomera, he or she must pay 68 cents a minute.  Matt Healy 
says that there are provisions in the relevant Act for companies to 
charge exorbitant rates in one area if they are offset by competitive 
rates in another.  It's all a part of the overall competition.  The 
consumer is then free to shop for the plan which most suits their 

Of coure, the detainees at Woomera do not have the freedom to do that 
sort of shopping. 

And the phones are not set up (like most phones) so that they can 
dial 1-800 numbers.  This blocks detainees from using the phone cards 
issued by competitors which operate on the 1-800 system, and it even 
blocks them from making free calls to individual companies which have 
1-800 numbers.  But once again, the Act allows for situations where 
that can be done, such as in hotels, where all calls must go through 
the switchboard and be charged at hotel rates.  1-800 calls are 
blocked by many hotels, because they do not make any money out of 

But again, the situation at Woomera is that the detainees have no 
choice, whereas someone staying at a hotel does.  They can either go 
to a different hotel, or step outside and use a public phone booth. 
We believe that it is grossly unfair to block detainees from using 
1-800 numbers to get cheaper rates for phone calls.

But back to the charge of 68 cents a minute for a local call.  What 
must be taken into consideration with regard to DIMIA's supposed 
efforts to get the best possible deal for the detainees is what the 
detainees' calling patterns are.  DIMIA is most concerned that they 
be sent home, and so they have (supposedly) sought a phone service 
that enables detainees to make all necessary arrangements to be 
returned to their home country at a reasonable telephone rate.  $1.17 
a minute to Iran is reasonable.  However, the detainees, apart from 
making a quick call home to say that they are safe, or that there has 
been some other significant change in their circumstances, are more 
concerned with the legal battle to STAY in Australia, something that 
DIMIA is strongly committed to blocking.  Phone calls to lawyers are 
NOT quick calls.  Most lawyers cannot afford to make a trip to 
Woomera to discuss in person all the ins and outs of their case, and 
so they depend on phone calls.  Until recently, calls could not be 
made into the detention centre, and so it was left entirely up to the 
detainees to phone out at their own expense.  All such calls are 
charged at the rate of 68 cents a minute. 

It is easy to see how any arrangements made by phone by detainees 
within Australia would be severely hampered by the exorbitant rate 
tht is being charged.  The ACCC has said that they could charge 
Pay-Tel (or DIMIA) under the Act if they could establish that calling 
patterns require that the detainees make local calls more than 
overseas calls.  The charge of 68 cents a minute for local calls, 
they say, is definitely unfair.

Finally, there is the matter of some Pay-Tel phone cards being 
defective.  One detainees bought a $22 phone card from the canteen, 
and when he went to use it, the recording told him that there was no 
credit on it.  He complained, and five months later, he is still 
waiting to receive a replacement card.  The fault may lie with 
Pay-Tel, but it may also be that canteen staff are selling used 
cards, or even that they are partially using cards themselves and 
then selling them as fully credited cards (which may explain why some 
cards have run out in only seven minutes).

We will be checking with detainees this week to see if they are able 
to get a statement of the balance on the cards immediately after they 
purchase them. They may just have to be more careful.  But certainly 
if there is no way for them to be reimbursed if they DO buy a dud 
card, then an injustice is being done.  Matt Healy said that a report 
to the Ombudsman may be the best bet if that is the case.

Any pressure which the media, politicians, or the general public can 
apply to get this matter cleared up would be appreciated.

Dave McKay and Ross Parry, Refugee Embassy, Woomera
Phone 0407-238805
- -- 
for the moment, mail to fold@idl.net.au will be automatically 
forwarded to ross777au@bigpond.com, so you may reply to either 
address and it will reach me. 


#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: majordomo@bbs.thing.net and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nettime@bbs.thing.net