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Australia detainees harming selves in immigration camps, report shows

[JURIST] Approximately 900 detainees held in Australian Department of Immigration [official website] detention camps have caused themselves injury [JURIST news report] during the past three years, according to documents obtained by Macquarie University academic Denise Leith under Australia's Freedom of Information Act. According to the report, there have been 506 incidents of self-harm carried out by 878 detainees in the past three years. The acts detailed include self-mutilation and self-starvation. Recent reforms [JURIST report] to Australia's immigration policy have been deemed insufficient since they do not function to free the detainees. Australian detention camps, which have been attacked by international human rights groups [JURIST report] such as Amnesty International Australia [AI report], have been riddled with hunger strikes, protests, escapes and suicide bids, as many detained asylum seekers wait years for hearings. Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone responded to the allegations by talking about a planned upgrade to one of the detention centers, a move that has been slammed as inadequate by Dr Jon Jureidini, an Australian psychiatrist who treats detainees. Australia's ABC News has local coverage. Reuters has more.

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