Rod St George, a former security officer, has provided a detailed account of the conditions on the Manus Island.
The camp, which was used to detain refugees by the previous Howard Liberal government from 2001 to 2004, was reopened last year by Labor when it fully embraced Howard's refugee processing "Pacific Solution" policy.
Under the even more brutal plan announced by Rudd last Friday, every asylum seeker who reaches Australian territory by boat will now be deported to Manus or other locations in Papua New Guinea and will be permanently barred from settling in Australia, even after official refugee status is granted.
The Manus camp is being vastly expanded, so that it can imprison up to 3,000 refugees-including families and children.
In an interview broadcast on Monday night by the Special Broadcasting Service's
(SBS) "Dateline" program, St George
denounced Manus Island: "I didn't expect it to be run as a prison-worse than a prison actually… Words can't really describe… I have never seen human beings so destitute, so helpless, and so hopeless before… In Australia the facility couldn't serve as a dog kennel.
Its owners would be jailed."
Earlier this year, St George, who had worked in Australian prisons for nearly ten years, became a compliance manager for G4S, the private company that runs the Manus Island detention camp.
primary responsibility was to monitor the health and safety of both the refugees and company guards and employees.
After barely a month, he
resigned in outrage and shock at the conditions being inflicted on the 300 detainees.
described how the conditions on Manus led to almost daily cases of attempted suicide or self-harm.
An unnamed local guard supported his
claims, telling "Dateline" that detainees would "go crazy, cutting themselves up, trying to hang themselves… They get pieces of metal, like wire or something, and cutting themselves."
A refugee told the SBS
program that detainees were saying "we can't tolerate this place, it is such a hell and we are going to stay here for a long time.
Its better we die here."
alleged that the Labor government had established a regime in which immigration officials would not even take action over reports of rape and abuse.
Men who alleged they had been raped or physically assaulted by other detainees, he
claimed, were left in the same compounds as their purported attackers.
stated: "There was nothing that could be done for these young men, who were considered vulnerable, which in many cases is just a euphemism for men who are being raped.
On Wednesday, 32 Salvation Army
staff and former staff who have worked at Nauru joined Rod St George
in publicly condemning the conditions imposed by the Labor government.