Thursday, 28 April 2016

CHASING ASYLUM - HOT DOCS 2016 Review By Greg Klymkiw - Refugees on the "Barbie"

Australia's Government implements RACISM, INCARCERATION, ISOLATION & TORTURE towards political refugees in the guise of humanitarianism.
Chasing Asylum (2016)
Dir. Eva Orner

Review By Greg Klymkiw

Using a raft of hidden cameras, Oscar-winning filmmaker Eva Orner chillingly exposes the evil committed by Australia on people who need the country's help, not its disdain.

Now, it's obvious and a proven fact that political refugees seeking asylum by crossing the oceans on boats can die. They know it and we know it, but sometimes it's the only way for them to escape repression and violence.

The Australian government, wanting to protect the refugees from certain death have implemented a series of policies designed to save lives. That's what they tell us, anyway. The reality is that Australia does not want the bad publicity (and, uh, the inconvenience) of bodies washing up on their shorelines. Most of all, though, the country is run a bunch of ignorant racists who want to keep refugees out of their country - period!

What the Aussie rulers have done is tantamount to cruelty, straight-up incarceration and torture.

"I have to forget my dreams here." (top left)
A paradise for children. (top right, middle left & right)
Plea of a refugee: KILL US (bottom left)
SECURITY FORCES (bottom right)
Any refugee arriving by boat is detained in one of two godforsaken hellholes - an island in Papua, New Guinea and the autonomous island nation of Nauru. It is in these places where the refugees are incarcerated for years in cramped, unsanitary and most decidedly inhumane concentration camps. Malnutrition, deep depression and even suicide plagues these "guests" of the Australian government.

Children suffer from developmental delays, lack of education and none of the facilities/accoutrements which might make their lives richer. (When toys finally arrive, the story of one child's response is a heartbreaker.)

Australia, for their part wants to do the following:

1. Detain the refugees in the most appalling conditions for as long as possible, then deport them back to where they come from, hoping their horrendous experiences will keep other refugees from being tempted to come to Australia.

2. Absolutely refuse asylum to ANY refugees who arrive by boat.

Journalists are not allowed in the compounds, workers are not trained and told their job is to keep people from committing suicide (or try to "make" them "happy") and the security forces are big bruisers who've been recruited from various bouncer positions in nightclubs. The secret cameras capture these pigs referring to the refugees with the most foul language and (seriously) joking about how they look forward to shooting any of them trying to escape.

Among other egregious conditions, there is an appalling rash of sexual assaults perpetrated on women and children.

Special laws have been implemented by the Australian Government to send any worker to prison who dares to publicly reveal the sickening goings-on.

The  dreams of refugees:
"I heard Australia is a safe country."
"I heard Australia is a humane country."
"Australia respects people and refugees."
Clearly Australia is flouting all international agreements they've agreed to by refusing refugees. They simply don't want these people in their country - in spite of overwhelming proof and statistics how Vietnamese boat people have, in fact, become some of the country's most loyal and productive citizens.

This is Australia.

It's happening now.

Orner's film is not only an eye-opener, but a powerful call to action for the rest of the world to speak out against these utterly horrifying, racist actions. The nastiness and ignorance of Australia's political leaders is so insane, one can't believe the words coming out of their mouths.

After one of the prisoners immolates himself in protest and desperation, one might as well ascribe the Crocodile Dundee cliche to every single Australian politician and imagine them jauntily chortling:

"Well mate, let's toss another refugee on the barbie!"


Chasing Asylum makes its World Premiere at Hot Docs 2016.