'Mental torture': Muslim immigration detainees say they haven't been given halal food for more than a year
9 September 2020
Muslim immigration detainees in Brisbane have filed a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission saying they have not been given certified halal food for more than 12 months.
"After research and investigation we find out the food has been provided by Serco is not halal food and this is from the beginning when we arrive in Brisbane,” said Iranian detainee Amin Afravi.
Detainees challenged the guards to show them halal certification and contacted the caterers who are providing the food to Serco, the company responsible for operating the facility.
The caterers replied that they were not halal certified.
Serco subsequently confirmed to the detainees the current and previous caterers were “not halal certified” but “purchase meat from halal-certified suppliers”.
Serco declined to comment and referred enquiries to Home Affairs, which in a statement to SBS News said “compliance with the contract is regularly monitored”.
“They feel this is a huge violation and a huge betrayal of their rights, they feel this needs redress. The substance of the complaint is that it has breached their rights to practise their religion,” said ASRC case worker Nina Field.