Letters 23.3.13

16. 771LETTERS

Crying into their beer
BOO HOO, poor transit security won’t have their beer money at the end of a shift (Voice, March 9, 2013).
Who will get this loose cash if not the next person to use the machine (unless the transit boys get there first). What a load of codswallop. They should be doing the job they were employed to do—then there won’t be bashings like the one we saw on the train last week. Definitely, big brother is watching.
Sue Trewick
Wolseley Rd, Morley

Torture is real
SO we hear asylum seekers might have experienced torture and trauma, but what does it actually mean?
The reason people from countries like Sri Lanka, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran leave everyone they know and love and a culture they also know and love is often to save their life.
I’m going to write it in the first person so you might feel it more.
As an asylum seeker you have seen all the members of your family brutally killed in front of you by an (government) authority; or you have been hung by the skin and muscle on your back from a huge hook in a gaol for hours, and the authorities do this a little bit each day; or you have your head forcibly plunged into water so that you think you will die of drowning repeatedly; or you have been badly beaten twice, to within an inch of your life with metal wire, and you are told your torturers will be back, they don’t come back for a year, but every day you wait in fear, and when they do come back you only just survive the beating, and you can do nothing but wait for the next visit because there is no-where safe to run to; or you have been raped by 15 men for three hours in a dark room with cloth stuffed in your mouth so you can hardly breathe, and this happens on a regular basis and you cannot leave as you are a prisoner; or you come home to find your whole village has been massacred.
Or you’ve lived with planes overhead that drop bombs, dodging machine guns or dodging bombs, with shrapnel in your body that daily reminds you of the land mine that killed 11 of your friends.
So you leave your country alone, you survive the very, very dangerous boat trip to Australia—because Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, so you think you will be safe there.
And then you are punished by being put on a desert island for coming to Australia, and your mind is going now, you are deeply, deeply depressed, no hope, no end to this torturous life, because you thought you would be safe on arrival in Australia and  you have been on Nauru or Manus or locked up in the middle of the desert  for six months, with fences around you just like a gaol, and you have no idea whether your will get a visa, whether you will be believed, whether your visa claim is in process, no-one will say what is happening, and people all around you are hanging themselves.
This is what we are talking about. Oh. . .and you are a child! The people we treat this way are people, just like me and just like you. Ninety per cent of those who come to Australia by boat (which is not illegal) are found to be refugees requiring our protection. We should not damage them more when they arrive, many have experienced the things above.
Andrea Callaghan
Collick St, Hilton

Media marches with PC brigade
IT is ironic the media is now protesting over proposed laws which may restrict its freedom to publish, while at the same time capitulating to political correctness and denying freedom of speech.
Letters such as this, which are critical of the media’s insidious restriction of open and frank comment on contemporary issues, are rarely published for fear of causing imagined offence to vocal minority groups.
While pandering to these influences, the media is undermining those charged with the community’s safety and welfare.
Now gangs and individuals roam the streets committing violent offences against society’s most vulnerable. Before the PC brigade started flexing their muscle the media were able to publicise an accurate and informative description of the attackers, including their ethnicity.
What we are now provided in most media is a description of the wanted persons as being dark-skinned or fair-skinned, etc. This is next to useless for the community to assist the police in apprehending the culprits. It also unfairly casts suspicions on some groups who may be innocent, which leads to unnecessary racial friction.
It appears most of the media are now too scared to use terms such as African, Middle Eastern, Asian, Indian or Aboriginal to describe the offender’s ethnicity in fear of ethnic or religious leaders wailing their manufactured offence and making charges of racism.
Self-imposed media censorship of factual reporting, including TV images with faces blurred out, is a disturbing trend towards an Orwellian future.
It will only be a matter of time when these letters columns and news reports are reduced to non-controversial drivel to ensure no-one is offended by personal opinion and comments.
Instead of bleating about government restrictions on press freedom, it would be a good start if they addressed their own self-imposed restrictions on free speech.
Daryl Binning
Norton Ridge, Winthrop

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