Friday, February 04, 2005
An Australian woman Cornelia Rau has spent the last 10 months locked up in the Baxter immigration detention centre. Ms Rau, a former Qantas flight attendant, is mentally ill and spent the last few months in Baxter in isolation.
A spokesperson for the immigration department stated that;
"At no time did she state she was a permanent (Australian) citizen."
Here is a post at Baxter watch lifted from an article written by Pamela Curr about a mentally ill girl called "Anna" in Baxter. Anna as it turns out is Cornelia Rau.
Anna, a German - speaking girl has been locked up in Baxter since the 29th November. She was in the Management Unit (ISOLATION) but for the past few weeks has been held in Red One compound where she is locked in an isolation cell for 18 hours per day. She is allowed out into the open air for 6 hours per day. Such is her terror of being put back into this cell that it takes 6 guards in full riot gear to manhandle her back into the room and close the heavy door. We have reports from witnesses that the guards are enjoying this aspect of Anna’s behaviour.
Detainees have repeatedly expressed concern about this young girl. They believe that she is mentally ill. Her unpredictable and bizarre behaviour, lack of communication and distress continue to worry fellow detainees. She exhibits psychotic symptoms, screaming and talking to herself at times and screams in terror often for long periods especially when locked in the cell. Visitors who have attempted to engage with her say that she does not make eye contact and avoids interaction. Detainees have attempted to get her trust but have ben unable to get her to see anyone.
Anna has refused to sign a form requesting legal help so no-one is allowed to assist or assess her. We are worried that she may not be mentally competent to act in her best interests. However under the Migration Act no one is allowed to act on her behalf unless she requests this in writing.