Image from the Scherger Immigration Detention Centre set on Flickr
Cath news report: A priest who raised concerns over the asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Queensland said the Diocese of Cairns has been told he is no longer welcome to visit the centre, reports the Cairns Post.
Since then, he said the department had informed the Diocese of Cairns he was no longer welcome back at Scherger: "The parish told me that (the department) is not very happy with me, and they no longer want me to go in," Fr Bissett said.Father Lawrie Bissett, the administrator of the Sacred Heart Mission Parish on Thursday Island, was disgusted by the conditions detainees were kept in after he visited Scherger detention centre at Weipa last month. He raised concerns about an inmate's suicide attempt and the lack of support services inside the centre.
"Apparently it's because I mentioned the suicide attempt – that's what they told me."
A Department of Immigration spokeswoman denied Fr Bissett had been banned from visiting the detention centre, and that he remained "free to make requests to visit individual clients, and any such request would be considered in line with our visitor policy".
"If it did not endanger the chance of the parish of Weipa who have come together in love and service and faith to visit Scherger once a week with prayer, song, conversation, camaraderie, food and encouragement, I would like to stand at the gates of Scherger with my placard 'Set the prisoners free, Jesus'," Fr Bissett said.