Saturday, July 30, 2016

The worst I've seen – trauma expert lifts lid on 'atrocity' of Australia's detention regime

Exclusive: In his 43-year career, Paul Stevenson has worked in the aftermath of the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day tsunami but says nothing he witnessed was as bad as the treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus

By Ben Doherty and David Marr, The Guardian
June 19, 2016

“In my entire career of 43 years I have never seen more atrocity than I have seen in the incarcerated situations of Manus Island and Nauru.”

Paul Stevenson has had a life in trauma. The psychologist and traumatologist has spent 40 years helping people make sense of their lives in the aftermath of disaster, of terrorist attacks, bombings and mass murders, of landslides, fires and tsunamis.

He’s written a book about his experiences, Postcards from Ground Zero, and for his efforts in assisting the victims of the Bali bombings, the Australian government pinned an Order of Australia Medal to his chest.

Now, he says, it is the Australian government deliberately inflicting upon people the worst trauma he has ever seen.[...]

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Offshore detention whistleblower loses job after condemning 'atrocity' of camps

After psychologist Paul Stevenson tells the Guardian conditions on Nauru and Manus Island are ‘demoralising’ and ‘desperate’, his contract is cancelled

By Ben Doherty, The Guardian
June 21, 2016

The trauma specialist who condemned the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia’s offshore detention regime as the worst “atrocity” he has seen has had his contract to work on Nauru terminated.

Psychologist Paul Stevenson, whom the Australian government awarded an Order of Australia for his work counselling victims of the Bali bombings, had undertaken 14 deployments to Nauru and to Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. He was due to return to Nauru on Thursday.

But after he spoke publicly to the Guardian about his experiences working within Australia’s offshore detention regime – describing conditions in the camps as “demoralising … and desperate” – he was told his contract had been summarily cancelled.[...]

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