Abdulla Moradi is one of about 120 people detained at Kangaroo Point Central, where the government has now taken over all three buildings. In August 2019, he was brought to Australia for medical treatment from Papua New Guinea, where he had been detained since 2013, under the so-called medevac law.
“I’m scared,” Moradi told BuzzFeed News. “We don’t have any space to stay the social distance.”
He said that more than 100 guards work at the centre, as well as cleaners, medical staff and a hotel manager, and that the guards laugh when he asks them to stay an appropriate distance from him. His fears of infection make him nervous to leave the room which he shares with his brother, he said.
Amnesty International Australia’s refugee coordinator, Graham Thom, told BuzzFeed News that the hotel chains were complicit in the public health risk posed to the detainees and the broader community by the use of hotels as alternative places of detention (APODs).
“Everybody who is engaged in detaining these men in this way needs to accept some responsibility,” he said. “People can’t just keep passing the buck to the Department of Home Affairs. We’re all in this together.
“If that means that these hotel groups insist that the men are housed in an appropriate way, that’s an important step. If they insist that they don’t want to be complicit in a public health crisis, then that would be a positive step too. Ultimately it should be about getting vulnerable people to a safe place where they can engage in the same practices that are expected of everyone else.”