Friday, May 27, 2005

Archival Rescue 48 ~ Aus detention

Disturbing, released detainee speaks out about harsh treatment... and is promptly locked back up again.

Rau back in psychiatric care
May 27, 2005 - 12:23pm Sydney Morning Herald

Cornelia Rau has been returned to psychiatric care in Adelaide, just days after being released into the community.

After being wrongfully locked up in immigration detention last year, Ms Rau was released from the psychiatric ward at the Royal Adelaide Hospital on Monday on strict conditions that included taking medication daily.

However, her guardian - the Office of the Public Advocate - said today the former Qantas flight attendant had been returned to the Glenside Psychiatric Hospital on Wednesday night.

Spokeswoman Margaret Farr said the public advocate believed things had got "out of hand" in terms of what information had been reported in the press.

"We would ask if the media could respect her privacy," Ms Farr said.

"So what we are saying is just that she has been returned to hospital for further assessment."

Following her release, Ms Rau caused her carers some worry on Tuesday when she left her accommodation in the morning and did not return until late that night.

While she was essentially free to come and go as she pleased, her long absence raised concerns.

On Monday Ms Rau, whose wrongful immigration detention is now the subject of an official inquiry, said she would pursue financial compensation in the courts.

Ms Rau was wrongly identified as an illegal immigrant last year and held in a Queensland prison and then in the Baxter Immigration Detention Centre in South Australia for a total of 10 months.

Ms Rau said she had been "locked up in a cage like a caged animal".

Her lawyer, Claire O'Connor said Ms Rau was upset at being returned to Glenside and it was hoped another trial release could be arranged soon.


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