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Immigration Detention Center Staff Called Detainee A 'Known Princess' In An Email After He Complained About Racism And Privacy Violations By Officers


If you thought the mistreatment of immigrants in detention was a problem confined only to the United States, this might make you think again.

Nauroze Anees has been in immigration custody in Australia since 2016.

In 2018, Anees filed a complaint against personnel at a detention center owned by the private contractor Serco. Anees complained about racist behavior and repeated privacy invasions from Serco's guards.

Instead of a thorough investigation, however, Anees's complaints were dismissed after an investigation from one of the very guards he'd reported.

That guard's reasoning?

Anees had made complaints before and had tweeted critically about Serco. The unnamed guard wrote in an email to their superior that Anees had made false allegations and was "unhealthily fixated" with those against whom he complained.

The superior responded:

"This detainee is a known 'princess' and wants to get everything his way. It is important that we call out people who are trying to manipulate the system and our staff to their advantage."

On the superior's advice, the officer wrote a report dismissing the complaint. It wasn't until a senior manager clocked that the officer doing the report was also the subject of the complaint. The manager also noticed the "princess" quip, which they said would discredit the investigation.

Anees eventually took the complaint to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, which was able to mandate that Serco hand over redacted documents related to Anees.

He was concerned that the princess comment would remain on his record and possibly hinder his release.

He rightly lost faith in Serco.

"I have no faith in Serco investigating my complaints with integrity. The internal emails show they are more focused on covering up than actually investigating the complaint."

Others spoke out against his treatment.

Anees isn't the only one objecting to Serco's practices.

Anees continues to post about his experiences. You can follow him here.