- The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection would be given the power to prohibit specific items in immigration detention facilities – items including mobile phones, SIM cards, computers and tablets, medications and health care supplements and material that could incite violence, racism or hatred – if the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017, currently before the Australian parliament, becomes law. Items prohibited in this way will be banned for all detainees in immigration detention.
- The bill would also provide authorities with new search powers, including dogs and strip searches, to detect prohibited items.
- A blanket ban on mobile phones would curtail detainees’ access to family members and legal help, and risks breaching the implied constitutional right to freedom of political communication.
For more information see the Kaldor Centre submission on the bill, or visit the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee to find links to the bill and explanatory memorandum, public submissions, the committee report (due by 14 November 2017) and status of the legislation.